This weekend I watched the movie Fur, a strange film, but strange in a magnificent way. Firstly, it’s one of the few films for which I can say, “Nicole Kidman is fabulous!” Secondly, it costars Robert Downey Jr., one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Downey is a wonderful character actor, and what a character he portrays in this film! You’ll love him as much as Diane Arbus (Kidman) did. Thirdly, it’s visually exciting. There are so many layers of visual interest – the colors, the staging, the 1950s fashion, the carnival costumes, the makeup, the physical attributes of the various characters, etc.
The film is an imaginary biopic of Diane Arbus, a photographer known for her documentary style and her fantastic subject matter – anyone and anything considered not normal (e.g., giants, dwarfs, the insane…). Honestly, I knew little of Arbus until I watched this film. What I know of Arbus today is a result of learning from Internet resources. As I stated, the film is an IMAGINARY biopic. I advise anyone who wants to watch the film to go in with no knowledge of the artist or her work. It’s after the film that you should learn about her life and her photography. Reading her biography and viewing her photos will help you appreciate the film in a new way. You’ll understand what director Steven Shainberg and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson were after. You’ll appreciate the genius, Arbus!
I recommend this film to all who feel inhibited and desire to break loose. You’ll relate to Arbus’ (Kidman’s) need to be more than the daughter of a wealthy man and the wife of a successful photographer. You’ll appreciate her intellectual and emotional identification with individuals considered abnormal. She herself felt abnormal. Kidman is very believable in this role; she is Diane Arbus.
Also, if you liked Steven Shainberg’s Secretary, another film about “abnormal” characters, you’ll love this. Shainberg has a way of making atypical behavior unobjectionable. What is common to both films is love. Underneath the fantastic story is a beautiful love story, an unforgettable love story.
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Are you interested in other film reviews? If so, read the film review for Stage Beauty.