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Velvet Goldmine

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United Kingdom, United States · 1998
Rated R · 1h 58m
Director Todd Haynes
Starring Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette
Genre Drama, Music

Almost a decade has elapsed since Bowiesque glam-rock superstar Brian Slade escaped the spotlight of the London scene. Now, investigative journalist Arthur Stuart, himself forged by the music of the 1970's, is on assignment to uncover the truth behind the enigmatic Slade.

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What are people saying?

Cait Mohr Profile picture for Cait Mohr

A dizzying bisexual fever dream dusted with glitter and cocaine, this movie holds a special place in my heart as one of the first few queer films I watched shortly before coming out. This is fitting, I think, especially since the film is permeated with a sort of shame and angst, eventually serving as the basis for the campy stardom of the Bowie-esque Brian Slade. This intermingling of shame and glamor is one of the most compelling (and gayest) aspects of the film in my opinion, even when the characterization falls flat and the plot seems to lose itself in its own labyrinth of nostalgia.

What are critics saying?


Empire by

On paper, fine; on celluloid, a Rocky Horror Show of nightmarish proportions.


Slate by David Edelstein

Haynes sets out to demonstrate the power of popular music to change people's lives--to tell them it's OK to fashion themselves into anything they please.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Conceptual to a fault, writer-director Todd Haynes (Poison, Safe) realizes one of his oldest and most cherished projects -- a celebration of the glam-rock era and the bisexuality it turned into an opulent circus -- with wit, glitter, and energy, but with such a scant sense of character or period that it leaves one feeling relatively empty as soon as it's over.


The A.V. Club by Keith Phipps

There are moments when Velvet Goldmine threatens to collapse under the weight of writer/director Todd Haynes' (Poison, Safe) ambition. But, sometimes amazingly, it doesn't, becoming in the process one of the year's freshest, most exciting films.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Dazzling and dizzying, confusing and even annoying, Velvet Goldmine is a feverish dream of a film, a riot of color and attitude that is all pop decadence, all night long.

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