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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

FUR Opens Around U.S.

Nicole Kidman makes the movie FUR. Although the film carries the title an "An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" you cannot help but feel that any fan of Arbus will be disappointed at an attempted portrayal of the paradigm breaking life in history of photography.

However, if a viewer can suspend expectations or better, pretend this story has nothing to do with the legendary photographer Diane Arbus, you might find the film satisfying. And unless you grew up in New York city just after WWII, you might not know anything factual about the history anyway.

Not to put to big a point on it, simply stated, Arbus's life and character as an artist was considerably more complex than the unassuming and demur housewife depicted in Erin Cressida Wilson's script for FUR.

But watching FUR is a very satisfying experience. At it heart the film is about the mystery and inspiration that sparks an artists imagination to delve into worlds unknown. The imaginative release is palpable and treated in this film as a mystery, almost a thriller, in its dramatic build up. The key is Kidman's performance.

At one critical moment, the film itself crosses the line into an absurd and very questionable realm and the only person who can hold it from becoming laughable is Kidman. Certainly, you cannot count on Robert Downey, Jr.

Factually, the script takes great leaps and bounds from the first scene where Arbus allegedly disrobes for her photo shoot in a nudist colony (she never did) but Kidman cares less. Kidman must craft and entirely new character whole cloth.

And so she does. Many in the audience are likely to leave the film hoping they might one day see an actual bio-pic of Arbus and maybe FUR will spark that project to happen.

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