Chris & Don: A Love Story
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Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's documentary Chris and Don. A Love Story traces the romantic relationship between writer Christopher Isherwood and painter Don Bachardy. The filmmakers utilize interviews with Don himself, as well as personal documents belonging to Isherwood, in order to show how the duo nurtured each other's artistic instincts while establishing a deep emotional bond that survived even after Isherwood's passing.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Despite an age difference of 30 years, their connection was immediately electric; their first kiss, the story goes, broke a window."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"With delectable-looking home movies of the couple's travels in California and Europe, Chris and Don offers an intimate portrayal of a passionate, enduring association, as well as a social history of postwar life."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A wonderfully crafted documentary about a most unusual long-term relationship"
‑ Don Willmott,
"The documentary, made after Isherwood's death and with Bachardy's enthusiastic participation, is as much a love story as a chronicle of Bachardy's maturation into a man and an artist."
‑ Kimberley Jones, Austin Chronicle
"It's a sentimental and loving picture, playing out as a leisurely cocktail-hour stroll through an enchanting life."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Surprisingly, this 2007 documentary about their 34-year relationship becomes more engrossing as its focus shifts from Isherwood to Bachardy..."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Santi and Mascara are right to call their film A Love Story, because this is the portrait of a marriage as full and enviable as the greatest unions in literature."
‑ David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
"A great, revealing documentary; one of the best films released in 2008"
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Orange County and Long Beach Blade
"Long before anyone was talking about gay marriage, that's what Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy had"
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"A charming, loving portrait electrified by the inclusion of lots of terrific home movie footage. These relics of gay history are worth the rest of the movie."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"There's a bit of Pygmalion meets The Portrait of Dorian Gray to it, and yet part of the documentary's slyness involves probing those aspects while never losing sight of the pain and glories of any emotional relationship that lasts as long as"
‑ Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
"A charming, illuminating portrait of the complex and storied queer romance between Isherwood and Bachardy."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"There are many reasons to see Chris & Don, but the best one I can think of is the chance to see Isherwood and his best friend W.H. Auden, probably the greatest poet of the twentieth century, jumping around together like middle-aged schoolboys in beguiling"
‑ Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine
"Isherwood was the far more interesting subject, but Chris & Don is all about Bachardy -- an observation that feels like opportunism more than love story."
‑ Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Regardless of whether you recognize the names of Christopher Isherwood or Don Bachardy, this masterful documentary draws you into the men's lives like a star-studded bedtime tale."
‑ Tricia Olszewski, Let's Not Listen
More reviews for Chris & Don: A Love Story on Rotten Tomatoes

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