Velvet Goldmine
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At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, American independent director Todd Haynes (Safe) received the "Artistic Achievement" award for this re-creation of the UK glam rock scene of the early '70s. Glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who does a character named Maxwell Demon, predicts his own death onstage. As per his prediction, this happens, but when the killing is exposed as a hoax, it marks the end of Slade's stardom. A decade later, in 1984, Brit reporter and former Slade fan Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale), who witnesses the hoax murder, gets the assignment to do… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Haynes' chronicle of the glam era is visually rich but too dramatically fragmented and overwhelmed by music to permit involvement in the tale's characters or the director's POV."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"While some gay men's fantasies center around muscled jocks, cops or cowboys, Todd Haynes' would seem to be of a slightly more arcane bent."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"A bizarre thing, this trippy movie takes you on a whirlwind tour of Brit glam rock and doesn't let go. Graphic and unforgiving, but good."
‑ Shawn Bowers, Kansas City Star
"Ewan really needs more lessons before he attempts an American accent again."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"Reminisce, if you can, over genderless fashions, boys in makeup and girls in even more makeup. And don't forget those platform shoes, drugs, and glitter, glitter everywhere."
‑ Brandon Judell, Critics Inc./America Online
"The style is devilishly flamboyant and gleefully indulgent; every shot is full of amazing stuff. The edits dance and twist. It's a glam movie about a glam subject."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"the ending happens at least half an hour later than it should"
‑ Dragan Antulov, Draxblog Movie Reviews
"Clever, often fascinating look at the world of glam rock."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Not a superficial music video but a smart and compassionate dissection of superficiality, and of the alternating joys and disillusionments experienced by its audience."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"A strange but ceaselessly fascinating barrage of music and imagery with nothing in the center to hold it all together."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Velvet Goldmine gives the rock movie a makeover."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Repeat viewings will allow one to piece together the fragmented montage as a melancholic ode to freedom, and those who fight for it through art."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"Working slightly against it, it's got an elliptical approach that's initially emotionally disorienting, a plot structure that's been a bit too audaciously borrowed from Citizen Kane, of all things, and a rather vacant performance at [its]center."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"The greatest achievement by any filmmaker in 1998."
‑ Jason Clark, Matinee Magazine
"This fictionalized story is a thin disguise for David Bowie's bio, and it is a rip-off of the Citizen Kane way of telling a fictionalized biography."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Velvet Goldmine on Rotten Tomatoes

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