Indie Gems: Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Fascinating.

Like the title says, this isn't a true biopic of photographer Diane Arbus. (Nicole Kidman) Diane feels like an outsider in her own family, despite her husband and fellow photographer Allan (Ty Burrell) trying to encourage her otherwise. She's intrigued by a new neighbor who moves in upstairs, Lionel (Robert Downey Jr.) a man who suffers from hypertrichosis who introduces Diane to a world of "different people" whom she feels immediately at home, and becomes entranced with Lionel himself.

I don't know anything about the real Diane Arbus, unfortunately, aside from recognizing a few of her pictures. So I can't really argue the veracity on how she's portrayed here. The film makes her both sympathetic and selfish at the same time. She's quiet, caring, and while I was happy she found this world where she fit in, I hated that it was at the expensive of ignoring her entire family.

The acting is wonderful across the board. Kidman was mesmerizing as always, and while you don't see Downey's face until the end of the film, his voice is at least very soothing. Ty Burrell was my favorite part.  He's a very expressive actor, which we see on Modern Family with his comedic timing, but he's very capable of playing these sad, dramatic roles as well. I loved him here.

The film is beautifully shot, almost in a way that the audience could also be Diane. Like we're looking at something we've never seen before and are quietly fascinated with it.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I saw you through my window, and right away I wanted to take a portrait of you." - Diane (Nicole Kidman)

12 comments:

  1. Oh that is such an excellent, underrated movie. So glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. I had mixed feelings about the film where it wanted to be this portrait of an artist but I felt it was too restrained and it took me out of the film completely. It's one of these great disappointments for me as I was someone who enjoyed Steven Shainberg who did Secretary years earlier.

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    1. I like this one and Secretary both equally. I didn't know anything about Diane Arbus before I watched it though, so that could've been the reason I loved it so much. I had no expectations.

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  3. Oh, I remember seeing this one...well,a while ago! Which proves to you how little I mean by "I remember." Nice review.

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  4. This sounds like an interesting character study. I might check it out.

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    1. I think you'd like it. It's very interesting.

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  5. I watched it on a local midnight movie channel. It's so sad, though. I mean there's a shade of infidelity with special "excuse" which I don't like. I don't really like Kidman here, but RDJ is amazing!

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    1. The infidelity was very unfortunate, especially when her husband was all around a good guy. I can see how her curiosity would get the better of her though. It was selfish.

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  6. I've always wanted to see this. Maybe I'll give it a look once I'm done binge-watching some leftover 2015 films.

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    1. I'm glad I finally got around to it. It was one that was in my Netflix queue forever.

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