6.5/10
14,526
98 user 103 critic

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus falls in love with Lionel Sweeney, an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.

Director:

Steven Shainberg
Reviews
Popularity
4,199 ( 31)
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman return home in a car from before 1966 (song from 1966) and spend Christmas together.

Director: Vaughan Arnell
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Robbie Williams
Birthday Girl (2001)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A thirtysomething bank clerk from St Albans has his small-town life exploded by the arrival of his Russian mail-order bride.

Director: Jez Butterworth
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Vincent Cassel, Ben Chaplin
Birth (2004)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young boy attempts to convince a woman that he is her dead husband reborn.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Cameron Bright, Lauren Bacall
Nightmaster (TV Movie 1987)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Steve Beck (Vince Martin) is a Karate instructor, Robby Mason (Tom Jennings) his prize student. Beck is using drugs to give him an edge. Guy Duncan (Craig Pearce) is Beck's drug connection ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Joffe
Stars: Tom Jennings, Nicole Kidman, Joanne Samuel
Hemingway & Gellhorn (TV Movie 2012)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A drama centered on the romance between Ernest Hemingway and World War II correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the only woman who ever asked for a divorce from the writer.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, David Strathairn
The Bit Part (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story about a careers counselor who dreams of becoming a small-time actor.

Director: Brendan Maher
Stars: Chris Haywood, Nicole Kidman, Katrina Foster
Un'australiana a Roma (TV Movie 1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The arrival in Rome of two Australian tourists, Jill and Susan, who will discover the hidden beauties of the eternal city thanks to a bold young Capitoline Pierluigi who will guide them.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Massimo Ciavarro, Nicole Kidman, Lara Wendel
Emerald City (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A couple move to Sydney from a small town, and soon become lured by the bright lights of the big city. Colin, the scriptwriter husband, is corrupted by his editor and then falls for his ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Jenkins
Stars: John Hargreaves, Nicole Kidman, Chris Haywood
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for fifty years.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Flora Cross
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kidman ... Diane Arbus
Robert Downey Jr. ... Lionel Sweeney
Ty Burrell ... Allan Arbus
Harris Yulin ... David Nemerov
Jane Alexander ... Gertrude Nemerov
Emmy Clarke ... Grace Arbus
Genevieve McCarthy Genevieve McCarthy ... Sophie Arbus
Boris McGiver ... Jack Henry
Marceline Hugot ... Tippa Henry
Mary Duffy Mary Duffy ... Althea
Emily Bergl ... Allan's New Assistant
Lynn-Marie Stetson ... Fiona - Naked Girl (as Lynn Marie Stetson)
Gwendolyn Bucci ... Dominatrix
Christina Rouner ... Lois
Matt Servitto ... Handsome Client
Edit

Storyline

In 1958, in New York City, the upper class Diane Arbus is a frustrated and lonely woman with a conventional marriage with two daughters. Her husband is a photographer sponsored by the wealthy parents of Diane, and she works as his assistant. When Lionel Sweeney, a mysterious man with hypertrichosis (a.k.a. werewolf syndrome, a disease that causes excessive body hair), comes to live in the apartment in the upper floor, Diane feels a great attraction for him and is introduced to the world of freaks and marginalized people, falling in love with Lionel. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Filmnegah.com (Persian)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Fur See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$16,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,815, 12 November 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$220,914, 17 December 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,281,089, 6 January 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Samantha Morton was originally cast as Diane Arbus. See more »

Goofs

When Diana comes into the room bearing a cup of tea, she has no wig in her hand, but when she leaves, she carries a blond wig, although there has not been a scene where she gets it. See more »

Quotes

Lionel Sweeney: You saw me the night I moved in, remember?
Diane Arbus: Yes.
Lionel Sweeney: I definitely saw you. You trying to seduce me, Diane?
Diane Arbus: No, no.
Lionel Sweeney: No?
Diane Arbus: God, no.
Lionel Sweeney: Is that why you came up here in the middle of the night?
Diane Arbus: I, um... Well, I would like to, uh, I'd like to take a portrait of you and your... your wife.
Lionel Sweeney: I don't have a wife.
Diane Arbus: Well then, I would like to take a portrait of you, just you.
See more »


Soundtracks

Marianna
Performed by Paquito D'Rivera
Composed by Carlos Franzetti
Published by Coconut Bay Music
Courtesy of Manhattan Production Music and Chesky Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Every picture tells a story.
20 February 2008 | by ThreeSadTigersSee all my reviews

Any instance in which a filmmaker attempts to blend ideas of fact with fiction - especially when that particular fact is fairly well known and tied to an iconic historical figure - they're going to have problems in maintaining a connection with certain factions of their audience. Just look at some previous examples of this same stylistic device in other films; such as Dreamchild (1985) for instance, in which an elderly Alice Liddell reflects on her time spent with Lewis Carroll and his obsessive compulsion to nail her character to the very pages of his most celebrated work. Even more polarising was David Cronenberg's adaptation of the cult novel Naked Lunch (1991), in which elements of the author's life and works were blended together to create a torturous, darkly-comic and highly homo-erotic trek through the damaged psychological territory of a Burroughs-like bug exterminator. A similar approach was also used by director Steven Sodebergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs with their coolly expressionistic merging of the fantastical and horrific writings of Kafka (1991), with the more mundane, everyday-like tedium of his real life and work.

Fur (2006), which makes its intentions clear with the subtitle "an imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus", takes on a similar approach to the films aforementioned; blending elements of personal fact and actual biographical detail with a story that is pure, fairy tale fabrication. Having watched the film just a few days ago, I browsed the Internet for previous reviews to get a sense of how other audiences had approached it. In doing so, I was quite shocked and surprised to see just how violently some viewers had reacted to the film; citing everything from the liberal approach of the film's script, the central performance from Nicole Kidman, and the fundamental message that seems implied by the film's very tender sense of emotional drama as reasons why this film was worthless or simply not good. This surprised me for two reasons, firstly; that these intelligent and well-versed viewers were unable to separate the elements of fact surrounding the real life Diane Arbus and her extraordinary body of work from the quite clearly fabricated depiction of grotesque beauty that the filmmakers create through the imagined relationship between our caricature of Diane and a character named Lionel; a mysterious former carnival performer. Secondly, it surprised me that these viewers felt that Arbus's life would be better served by a routine, by the books Hollywood biopic in which all the facts and back stories are simplified, and we end up with a very simple film about the triumph of the little guy against all odds.

Do people really want bland, cookie-cutter, connect the dots cinema; a struggle over adversary and all the usual nonsense that comes with those A-Z, biographical features, such as Walk the Line (2005) and Ray (2004)? Sadly, it would appear so. What happened to audiences craving imaginative, free-thinking cinema? Something that attempts to deconstruct a greater truth in an intelligent, imaginative and emotionally captivating way that is genuinely suited to the visual, metaphorical capabilities that cinema presents. For me, everything you would need to know about Arbus is here and everything you would need to know about her art is divulged in a number of interesting, highly imaginative visual quirks. You just have to scratch beneath the surface. Read between the lines and you'll see with this film the very psychological impulse and motivation to create something beautiful from the seemingly mundane; to capture that all too fleeting moment and preserve it on film forever. Fur, for me, took us inside the psychological world of Arbus, with none of the black and white moralising or textbook type tedium that often plagues this particular genre; but instead, showing us some of the potential ideas and imagined situations that came to instill her work with such a grotesque sense of beauty.

It has a long been said; "every picture tells a story". That's what this film is about. Anyone can read a book about the real life Arbus; but how on earth is that enriching the cinematic medium? I personally don't look to cinema to find something that is readily available to me at my local library. This film takes us inside Arbus' world and gives us a beautifully told and imaginative back-story that blends elements of real-life fact with references to Gothic literature, fairy stories, history and the subjective power of the art itself. The creative spirit of this film is exactly in tune with Arbus's creative vision. To give us something like the Rocky (1976) of photographer-themed biographical pictures would, to my mind at least, have been a much greater insult to the unique and continually captivating universe that this particular artist created through her work. You may disagree with the approach, or fail to see the appeal of the story, but for me, Fur is the kind of film that I feel I could go back to again and again and still find a number of things worth raving about.

Like one of Arbus's iconic pictures, Fur presents us with something seemingly drab, seemingly bizarre, and allows us to take the time to see the inherent beauty behind it. Like the work of Diane Arbus itself, you can choose to see it as something unfeeling or exploitative, or alternatively, you can see it as a gateway into understanding the enormous amount of empathy that Arbus had for her bizarre and often extraordinary subjects. The direction manages to create a mood and an ambiance that is halfway between the aforementioned William S. Burroughs and the antiseptic 50's Americana of The Bell Jar, with the otherworldly danger and mystique of a film like Pan's Labyrinth (2006). Alongside these stylistic elements we also have continual references to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the notion of Beauty and the Beast, and all tied together by the fine performances from Kidman as the shackled, stifled Arbus and Robert Downey Jr. as the mysterious and sympathetic Lionel.


44 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 98 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed