Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
Watch On
  1. 80
    Much of the film is as strange and oddly beautiful as one of Arbus' own photographs, bold in its attempt to find new ways of cracking the biopic chestnut and sensitive in its portrayal of a 1950s woman who, like so many of her contemporaries, finds herself imprisoned in a "Good Housekeeping" nightmare.
  2. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    The result is a revelatory, challenging and deeply affecting portrait, anchored by what may be Kidman's most profoundly moving performance to date.
  3. Kidman brings her character to life with a fey, moth-to-the-flame enthrallment that's both touching and fascinating.
  4. Yet whenever you get too irritated at Fur's pretensions, the remarkable acting of its two stars pulls you back in and keeps you watching.
  5. 70
    Purists will howl at the liberties Shainberg has taken with the facts, but there's a bravery to Fur, an uncompromising commitment to its narrow focus -- of one woman's creative birth -- that rhymes with Arbus's own artistic courage.
  6. 67
    Fur is that rare movie that's TOO understated, so quiet and deliberate that it effectively buries consuming passions.
  7. 63
    This is a Beauty & the Beast romance between Nicole Kidman and Chewbacca.
  8. If the only measure of Fur's achievement was in how well it conjures the fairy-tale mood of Arbus' most memorable photos, then it is a modest success. But as a chronicle of the turning point in an artist's creative life, it falls flat on its viewfinder.
  9. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Picture is impressively crafted and acted but far too narrowly and benignly conceived to satisfy even on its own terms.
  10. 60
    This Diane Arbus, as she's portrayed by a tremulous Nicole Kidman, radiates warmth and empathy that's nowhere to be seen in the work of the real Diane Arbus. Fur is intended to be a tribute to Arbus, but it's more a fancifully embroidered tapestry of wishful thinking.
  11. This arty and moody account of her formation as an artist, as its subtitle declares, is basically invented. Its nerviness only pays off in a few details and in Nicole Kidman's resourcefulness.
  12. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Far-out touches and liberal application of metaphor are compensated for by intensity and two mesmerising performances.
  13. 50
    Downey makes something lively, sexy and moving out of a role that's just a thin concept. But the movie feels like it's still in the darkroom.
  14. Fur is a misfire by the talented people who four years ago gave us "Secretary," whose tongue-in-cheek approach might have served this film better, taking the edge off much of its pretensions.
  15. The tall, cool Kidman works hard to impersonate a woman possessed, but she's not the type of actress to fill in a role that hasn't been filled in on paper.
  16. 50
    Wilson and the director, Steven Shainberg, draw on Arbus's family and on many elements from her life and her art, only to turn the material into feeble nonsense.
  17. 50
    A misguided tribute to the woman his (Shainberg's) film identifies among "the greatest artists of the 20th century."
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though sometimes boldly captivating, the movie is also occasionally pretentious and lurid simply for shock value.
  19. Fur is a folly, though not a dishonorable one.
  20. Fur starts stylishly, and confidently, but the film dwindles down to a chamber piece in a claustrophobic chamber. Enter at your own risk.
  21. The movie's considerable problems are not the fault of its dedicated star, Nicole Kidman. She does her job beautifully - which, come to think of it, may be something of a problem after all.
  22. 50
    In the end, the sheer obviousness of Shainberg and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson's take on Diane Arbus' perverse determination to examine and document the forbidden overshadows even Kidman's beautifully modulated performance, which takes Diane from brittle neurosis to a vaguely predatory ingenuousness.
  23. Fur does what an Arbus photograph never would -- it leaves no room to imagine and removes any reason for doubt.
  24. 50
    In theory, there's nothing wrong with this unorthodox approach to Arbus -- attempting to explain her from the inside out. (In its way, Harmony Korine's freakfest "Gummo" is a better Arbus movie.) The trouble is that Shainberg and Wilson don't connect their conceit to anything artistically enlightening, erotic, or truly deviant.
  25. The result is this metabiography that says almost nothing about the great photographer's life or art.
  26. 42
    Fiction can sometimes be used to access a deeper truth than mere fact, but in this case all it does is obscure and confuse a fascinating life story.
  27. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    That's the best thing that can be said about Fur: It feels good when it's over, and if you see it with a smart friend, it's a blast to hash over afterward.
  28. 38
    Problem: Kidman is the only one in the theater who is turned on. The rest of us are giggling.
  29. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    Fur dares the viewer to look into the eyes of Kidman and Downey Jr. and not see a whimpering housewife with a crush on Chewbacca.
  30. It's as if a trumped-up biopic of Andy Warhol were to appear titled "Soup.''
  31. Shainberg reduces this most disturbing of all photographers to a portraitist of Halloween.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Oct 9, 2010
    Though a mesmerizing performances by Nicole Kidman and beautiful aestesthics, the movie lacks that extra spark that would make it a memorableThough a mesmerizing performances by Nicole Kidman and beautiful aestesthics, the movie lacks that extra spark that would make it a memorable biopic. Instead it's just one in the bunch. Full Review »
  2. Dustin
    Nov 16, 2006
    Nicole Kidman is perfection in this.
  3. Aug 28, 2014
    An interesting, slightly odd movie. It works very well, though; the further it gets, the less you notice how unusual the characters of DianeAn interesting, slightly odd movie. It works very well, though; the further it gets, the less you notice how unusual the characters of Diane Arbus and Lionel Sweeney are.

    Perhaps that is what draws them together. They complement each other quite well, and the way their romance slowly brews is amazing. It all starts with fascination, and ends... well, bitterly, but I really liked the end of the movie!
    Full Review »