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81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Chris & Don: A Love Story is the true-life story of the passionate three-decade relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood and American portrait painter Don Bachardy, thirty years his junior. From Isherwood’s Kit-Kat-Club years in Weimar-era Germany (the inspiration for his most famous work) to the couple’s first meeting on the sun-kissed beaches of 1950s Malibu, their against-all-odds saga is brought to dazzling life by a treasure trove of multimedia. Bachardy’s contemporary reminiscences (in the Santa Monica home he shared with Isherwood until his death in 1986) artfully interact with archival footage, rare home movies (with glimpses of glitterati pals W.H. Auden, Igor Stravinsky and Tennessee Williams), reenactments, and, most sweetly, whimsical animations based on the cat-and-horse cartoons the pair used in their personal correspondence. With Isherwood’s status as an out-and-proud gay maverick, and Bachardy’s eventual artistic triumph away from the considerable shadow of his life partner, Chris & Don: A Love Story is above all a joyful celebration of a most extraordinary couple. (Zeitgeist Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    100
    This is the portrait of a marriage as full and enviable as the greatest unions in literature.
  2. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    90
    With his elegant cadence, crisp comedic timing, and witty flipping of homophobic stereotypes--in his very choice and use of language--Bachardy is that story come to life: the student who eventually mirrored his teacher, the molded who became a duplicate of the mold.
  3. Even a klutz could hardly make a bad movie about these compelling figures. Thankfully though, Guido Santi and Tina Mascara are superb filmmakers, fully alive in their terrific film Chris & Don: A Love Story to all the undercurrents of art, social class, sexual orientation, challenging relationships and, most especially, the touching love story at the heart of their film.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    Intimate, moving and playful.
  5. 80
    To describe the novelist's final days, Bachardy opens a drawer and begins pulling out the magnificent deathbed drawings he did of Isherwood -- a fusion of art and love that's deeply moving.
  6. 75
    You wind up caring deeply about the affair that began in the 1950s between American teenager Don Bachardy and three-decades-older Christopher Isherwood, the noted British author whose "Berlin Stories" inspired "Cabaret."
  7. 63
    As loving and welcome as Chris & Don is, it's not well enough conceived to create equilibrium among its many parts.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. AdiZ
    Jun 10, 2009
    10
    I watched it 3 times and could not get over how charming Don was-even in his 70ties he was so alive and articulate about his experiences with Chris- I loved their home and how organized Don was, and the artistic charm of the whole movie. Tried to find out what don is doing now,there was nothing about him on the enternet...disappointing. Expand
  2. MarkH.
    Jun 28, 2008
    10
    Excellent work, both interesting and touching, yet humorous and compelling in its treatment of a very delicate subject. I hope to see future projects by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara - they are true filmmaking artists. With their talents, they should not be limited to documentaries and I hope to one day see how they apply their sensitivities and creativity to a full length feature film. Expand
  3. Craig
    Jul 23, 2008
    2
    The film was well done, but the whole time it kept reminding me that this wasn't a touching love story, but a story of one man taking advantage of a young man who was almost a boy. It left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Expand