Mapplethorpe

Mapplethorpe

Mapplethorpe

Emmy-nominated actor Matt Smith (The Crown) is Robert Mapplethorpe, renowned photographer capturing images of the 1970s queer underground, in this biographical drama from filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig!).

2018Rating: R18+, High impact sexualised nudity95 minsUSA
DramaTrue Story & Biography

Streaming (3 Providers)

Mapplethorpe / Reviews

IndieWire

IndieWire

This runaway train of a biopic renders an iconoclast in the most generic of terms, straining Mapplethorpe’s brief life into a series of bullet-points that feed into each other with all the drama of a Wikipedia page, and a fraction of the context.

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Slant Magazine

Slant Magazine

In Mapplethorpe, the ultimate purpose of the film seems to be the reductive portrayal of the artist as yet another tormented queer destroyed by his tendencies toward vice.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

This is, in abstract, a bold and brilliant performance, an act of possession, really, and Smith never personally steps wrong in the film’s 96 minutes. But his work, sadly, is continuously undermined by everything surrounding him...

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Variety

Variety

To rob Mapplethorpe of his controversy is to strip the movie of its dramatic conflict. By doing so, the script (co-written with Mikko Alanne) reduces to a rather banal biopic, reenacting how a scrappy outsider achieved unconventional success.

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Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

What’s missing are the moments in between that actually make up a life and give it emotional resonance.

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Vulture

Vulture

Mapplethorpe doesn’t linger long enough to have a present tense. It hits its marks and breezes on. It’s not inept — there are few bad scenes. It doesn’t risk enough to be bad.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

The 12-year project – commissioned by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation – is evidence that Timoner, who made documentaries before, can craft a nuanced dramatic feature.

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Film Threat

Film Threat

Overall, I would recommend seeing this film if you are a fan of Mapplethorpe’s work, the New York art world, or of Matt Smith. He gives a bravura performance which outshines everything and everyone on screen.

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