Director: Steven Shainberg
Writer: Patricia Bosworth (book) & Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay)
Type of Indie Film: Drama / Fictional Biography
Out of 5 Stars (Bad, OK, Good, Great, Awesome): 5
If you’re into photography then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Diane Arbus. Her work changed the face of photography and invited people to look beneath the surface, read between the lines and see the disturbingly beautiful world around us. “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus” is a wonderful indie film.
Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) lives in an upper-class neighborhood with her husband, Allen (Ty Burrell) and their two daughters. Allen is a photographer, sponsored by Diane’s wealthy parents, and Diane is his assistant. An eccentric all her life, Diane feels suffocated and very unhappy in her conventional and mundane world.
On the night that her father shows his latest fur coat collection, Diane sees a man moving into the upstairs apartment. His face is covered by a mask, but she sees him make eye-contact with her. Unable to pull away, Diane immediately feels drawn to him.
Through a series of cloak and dagger events, Diane is invited upstairs to meet her new neighbor. Taking the unused camera that Allen her bought her, Diane climbs the stairs and discovers a new world; a world where she finally belongs.
On the threshold of a new life, Diane meets Lionel Sweeney (Robert Downey Jr.). Lionel has a disease called Hypertrichosis, also known as the Werewolf Syndrome, meaning his entire body is covered in hair. Lionel shows Diane the meaning of living and allows her to be herself, to be free and see the deeper beauty in what at first may seem grotesque.
This film was amazing. It mixes fact and fiction to create a world that’s magical and scary. If you want to know about the real Diane Arbus then research her life and her work, however, if you want to be immersed in a reality that’s half Alice in Wonderland and half Beauty and the Beast, then this is your next stop.
This is a realistic fairytale. The cinematography looks like a live-action animation and the music is enchanting. Kidman and Downey have such chemistry that you expect them to embrace at any given moment. Downey has the more difficult role due to his costume. Even though you only see his eyes and mouth, he emotes and you know exactly what he’s feeling. This is one of his best roles yet.
You can find “Fur” at any of Tulsa’s local Blockbusters and Family Video stores.
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