7.0/10
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319 user 106 critic

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R | | Drama, Music | 23 October 1998 (UK)
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In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director:

Todd Haynes

Writers:

James Lyons (story), Todd Haynes (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Curt Wild
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Brian Slade
Christian Bale ... Arthur Stuart
Toni Collette ... Mandy Slade
Eddie Izzard ... Jerry Devine
Emily Woof ... Shannon
Michael Feast ... Cecil
Janet McTeer ... Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley Mairead McKinley ... Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver Luke Morgan Oliver ... Oscar Wilde (8)
Osheen Jones Osheen Jones ... Jack Fairy (7)
Micko Westmoreland Micko Westmoreland ... Jack Fairy
Damian Suchet Damian Suchet ... BBC Reporter
Danny Nutt ... Kissing Sailor
Wash Westmoreland ... Young Man
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Storyline

1971: Glamrock explodes all over the world and challenges the seriousness within the flower power generation by means of glitter and brutal music. Brian Slade, a young rock star, inspires numerous teenage boys and girls to paint their nails and explore their own sexuality. In the end Slade destroys himself. Unable to escape the character role of "Maxwell Demon" that he created, he plots his own murder. When fans discover the murder is not real, his star falls abruptly and he is quickly forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the tenth anniversary story about the fake murder of Brian Slade. When Arthur was young and growing up in Manchester, he was more than a fan of Slade. Reluctantly he accepts the assignment and starts to investigate what happened to his old glamrock hero. Written by Jack Fairy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A man's life is his image See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Auksine praraja See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£156,050 (United Kingdom), 25 October 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,787, 8 November 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,053,788, 20 December 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Courtney Love considered supplying music to the film's soundtrack; however, she withdrew after viewing a rough cut, claiming that the character of Curt Wild too closely resembled her late husband Kurt Cobain, both in character and physicality. The Wild/Cobain parallel later became a much-discussed point among critics, and while director Todd Haynes and actor Ewan McGregor have noted similarities between Cobain and Wild, both claim the resemblance was unintended. Haynes, for his part, notes that Cobain borrowed many style traits from Iggy Pop, who served as partial basis for the Wild character. See more »

Goofs

During the "Death of Glitter" concert, the bassist of The Flaming Creatures takes his hands off the bass for several seconds to reattach the shoulder strap during the song "20th Century Boy", but the bassline of the song continues uninterrupted. See more »

Quotes

Mandy Slade: I was beaming, truly, like someone's mum.
See more »

Connections

References Top of the Pops (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Diamond Meadows
Written by Marc Bolan
Performed by T. Rex
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pushes
8 December 2005 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I have a fondness for good artists that have skilled energy, grand scope and fearless ambitions. If they give us that, who really cares if a project doesn't meet its infinite horizon? Is it less powerful when it fails? Does it matter that the subject is about precisely this?

About the subject, a gay boy grows up with talent and contrives to make a lush production with extremes of sexual matters and societal thinnesses. Slade and Haynes.

Sure, I thought the flying saucer business extreme stylistic gaudiness, but isn't that the point? I found all the narrative threads broken, the first manager, the fan/groupie/reporter, the wife. Sure it was a Citizen Kane with big gaps. Sure it was an experiment in several, parallel narrative devices not entirely integrated. Wasn't that the point?

Contrast it to Oliver Stone's film of the Doors. Polished, emotionally safe. Does that make sense?

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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