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2,318 Ratings

Velvet Goldmine

Directed by Todd Haynes
United Kingdom, United States, 1998
Drama, Musical, LGBT+


A British journalist (Christian Bale) looks into the mysterious disappearance of his former glam rock idol (Jonathon Rhys Meyers), who staged his own death as a publicity stunt in the early 70s. Also starring Ewan McGregor and Toni Collete.

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Velvet Goldmine Directed by Todd Haynes

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1998 | Winner: Best Artistic Contribution

Academy Awards

1999 | Nominee: Best Costume Design

Independent Spirit Awards

1999 | Winner: Best Cinematography

1999 | 2 nominations including: Best Feature

Covers from Jarvis Cocker, Brian Molko, and house band Venus in Furs (listen for Thom Yorke, and that guy from Suede) surpass the lad-rock zeitgeist by complementing, rather than merely imitating, the evergreen glam rock classics at its core. Instead of a sonic heist, Haynes creates an ad-hoc bloodline, connecting the “gay ’90s” and the free-and-freaky ‘70s to a lineage of pop-worship and liberation that began, according to the film’s creation myth, with Oscar Wilde and the green carnation set.
January 04, 2017
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When the end of the film grimly suggests that the inevitable byproduct of wielding identity as publicity is the commodification of outsider-dom and a move toward conservatism, the epiphany that crosses the reporter’s face is almost as heartbreaking as the most melodramatic moments of the director’s career.
December 31, 2015
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Risking presumptuousness, Haynes places the short-lived cultural phenomenon on an eclectic plane shared by Oscar Wilde (a man who fell to Earth destined for queer idolatry) and Orson Welles (the investigative structure, which probes the whereabouts of a Bowie-like icon following his faked assassination, is cribbed from Citizen Kane), all while critiquing the commodification and idealism of celebrity. With Haynes, the only “correct” interpretation of an icon is a personal one.
November 25, 2015
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