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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus 2006


From the window of her New York apartment, a housewife locks eyes with a masked figure on the street, a mysterious new neighbor whose sharp gaze strips the veneer off her tidy reality.

Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey Jr.
2 hours, 2 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Steven Shainberg
Starring Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey Jr.
Supporting actors Ty Burrell, Harris Yulin, Jane Alexander, Emmy Clarke, Genevieve McCarthy, Boris McGiver, Marceline Hugot, Mary Duffy, Emily Bergl, Lynn-Marie Stetson, Gwendolyn Bucci, Christina Rouner, Matt Servitto, David Green, Sandriel Frank, Krista Coyle, Joseph McKenna, John C. Gallagher
Studio New Line
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sally E. Goldin on February 10, 2007
Verified Purchase
I didn't realize, when I went to see this film, that the director

was also responsible for "Secretary", but in retrospect this makes

perfect sense. Both films concern themselves with the twisted side

of humanity, or perhaps, the humanity of kink. "Fur" chronicles the

imaginary but convincing awakening of Diane Arbus to her true

fascination with the grotesque. Frustrated and oppressed by her

life as a vanilla 1950's housewife, Diane yearns for something more.

She sees the bizarre and disturbing details in her surroundings that

others miss, but thus far has not had the courage to record her


When she catches a glimpse of Lionel (Robert Downney Jr.), completely

masked, she somehow recognizes him as the key to escaping her

suffocating life. He sends her the key to his apartment, through

the sewer pipes, an apt metaphor. Hesitant at first, then exuberant,

she surrenders to her true self, the beautiful, poised woman

surrounded by dwarves and siamese twins who is nevertheless, in

Lionel's words, a "real freak". For Diane, this is badge of


Diane's fascination with the bizarre, and with Lionel, is intensely

sexual. The tension between the two protagonists is maintained

through the film, gradually turning to desperate longing.

Yet they hardly touch. Their inevitable coupling near the

end of the film seems anti-climatic. The real climax is the

terribly intimate and prolonged scene in which Diane shaves

Lionel's entire body.

I'll agree with other reviewers that the ending of the film

falters. Nevertheless, this movie touched me deeply, and I

recommend it highly.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From reading reviews here at Amazon and speaking to other movie goers, I've come to the conclusion that this is one of those films where depending on the personality/likes/dislikes of the viewer, you'll either love it or hate it. I personally loved it. Loved the acting of the entire cast, loved the costuming, directing, make-up and cinematography.

I love a great love story. Please note, that the title clearly states that this is "An IMAGINARY Portrait of Diane Arbus". Perhaps another film maker wants to tackle a different, more true-to-life version at some point in the future, but in this particular take of her life, the real Diane serves mearly as a loosly based mold for the Diane of this film.

For me personally, this was one of those films that stuck with me for days after I saw it at the theater. I thought it was brilliant! It reminded me a bit of the '80's T.V. show "Beaty and the Beast".

My suggestion? Rent this before you buy it. If you love it, you'll watch it again and again and will definetly want to purchase it.
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Nicole Kidman has made some brave career choices; some of these choices were both brave and bad ("Birth"), some were just bad ("Bewitched", "Dogville"). She is clearly an actress willing to take a chance and occasionally, these pay off, providing a delightful, entertaining, unusual experience for the viewer. "Fur", her new film directed by Steven Shainberg ("Secretary"), is not the best film she has ever been in and it isn't the worse.

The late 50s. Diane Arbus (Kidman) lives with her husband, Allan (Ty Burrell), and their two daughters, in a large apartment in New York. They have converted part of the apartment into a photography studio and make a handsome living shooting covers for Vogue and ads for her father's (Harris Yulin) fur shops. But Diane is unhappy and feels that her life is unfulfilled. She no longer finds joy helping load her husband's camera, or fixing one of the model's outfits. Allan suggests she take some time off, shoot some photos of her own. One night, she overhears a new neighbor moving in upstairs. Peering out the window, she spots the new tenant, Lionel (Robert Downey Jr.), paying the movers. She is intrigued; Lionel is covered from head to toe in clothing, a crocheted mask covering his face and head. She soon ventures up to his apartment and learns he is covered from head to toe in long hair, fur. Lionel intrigues her and introduces her to a variety of strange people she would never have otherwise met; midgets, giants, people with no arms, Siamese twins, and others you would have to go to the sideshow attractions at a circus to meet, at least during this period. She begins to feel more comfortable around these people, and grows more distant from her husband and children.
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I would 1st of all change the title to "HAIR or The Inner World of Diane Arbus". I think the title, FUR may have left a bunch of people out. The film is SPECTACULAR! Simply AMAZING! Rich in Detail and the inner life, inspiration and passion of a human being. Anyone who judges this film from a biographical perspective or a realistic point of view will be disappointed - but this film surpasses all of that! In delves into a RICH, DEEPER world of the heart of the artist in all of us! Nicole Kidman, as always, delivers 100%, along with the subtle, gentle and elegant acting from Robert Downey Jr. Ty Burrell is truly and fully captivating as the husband who no longer has emotions to fulfill his wife. Steven's directing is mesmerizing, filled with brilliant detail, structured continuity and encompassing all of the human senses.
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