Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13

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Critic Reviews

  1. You don't need to have seen a lot of art films to love The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky. All it takes is compassionate curiosity and perhaps some lingering memory of the world as a child experiences it.
  2. 88
    You will either be in sympathy with it, or not. Much depends on what you bring into the theater. It is possible that those who know most about Nijinsky will be most baffled, because this is not a film about knowing, but about feeling.
  3. 80
    It's absorbing stuff, with some of the dishy quality of Andy Warhol's diaries and an almost humorous single-mindedness whenever Nijinsky returns, yet again, to the subjects of his vegetarianism, or how much he loves Russia (and France, and England, and just about everywhere he's ever been).
  4. 80
    A treat for balletomanes, this 2001 feature may be too precious for others.
  5. Fans of Nijinsky will savor every minute of Cox's work. Those unfamiliar with Nijinsky but who are curious enough to see this film may find themselves frustrated by its nontraditional documentary style.
  6. 60
    Has its share of arresting images, especially a lovely pas de deux performed in the nude and a dazzling performance of "Le Spectre de la Rose."
  7. Those who are only mildly curious, I fear, will be put to sleep or bewildered by the artsy and often pointless visuals.
  8. 50
    Sadly, this noble effort is loving but lame.
  9. Watching Paul Cox's impressionistic film based on the diaries of that legendary dancer and choreographer, it is impossible not to contemplate with a shudder the shadowy line between art, ecstasy and psychosis.
  10. It quickly becomes clear that Nijinsky's disordered thoughts are simply the rantings of a man losing his grip on reality. They're sad and occasionally evocative, but they're not especially interesting in and of themselves, and do nothing to evoke or illuminate Nijinsky's genius.
  11. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Unfortunately, the visuals are not compelling enough on their own to hold our interest, and a highly mannered Derek Jacobi is all wrong as the narrative voice of Nijinsky.
  12. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Despite its occasional visual interest, avant-garde package is far from the accessible tortured-artist portrait helmer essayed 15 years ago in "Vincent." Even committed dance and experimental cinema fans are likely to find this rough sledding.

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