Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: A glowing, prismatic portrait of the rise and fall of America's first celebrity designer—Halston—the man who was synonymous with fashion in the 1970s, and became the emperor of NYC nightlife. Interviews with friends and witnesses (including Liza Minnelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley, Anjelica Huston, Bob Colacello, and Billy Joel, among others) round out this glittering evocation of the man who defined the most beautiful and decadent era of recent memory. (Tribeca Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 18, 2012
    The film's darkly bedazzled view of the '70s is spurred by great dish from André Leon Talley, Liza Minnelli, and Nile Rodgers, who set the stage for Halston's triumphs - and his jaw-dropping fall.
  2. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Jan 20, 2012
    It's unfortunate that director Whitney Sudler-Smith seems to have spent more time on his own hair than his interview prep.
  3. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Jan 21, 2012
    The tension between the amateurish interviewer and the star interviewees gives the documentary a layer of authenticity that its otherwise formulaic structure and storytelling fail to find.
  4. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jan 18, 2012
    Growing up, Smith relates, he thought Halston - born Ray Halston Fenwick in Des Moines, Iowa - "was the coolest," which sets the tone for the movie's googly-eyed viewpoint.
  5. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Feb 9, 2012
    A self-indulgent pilgrimage to the shrine of '70s fabulousness, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston assembles a fine assortment of archival material but falls far short of its stated goal.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 19, 2012
    Fashionistas who flock to Whitney Sudler-Smith's documentary should pay heed to the entire title: this isn't simply the biography of an American icon, but the chronicle of a misguided filmmaker.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Jan 17, 2012
    There's a good film to be made about Halston, the dashing man who went from Iowa-born milliner to revered fashion designer to self-popularizing entrepreneur to AIDS-era casualty, but dear Lord, Ultrasuede is not it.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 2 out of 2
  1. Jun 28, 2012
    Ultrasuede, a doc about famed 70s fashion designer Halston, has a filmmaker at the helm who seems faux-interested in his subject, making up what seems to be on the spot questions with his celebrity guests, most notably Liza Minnelli. I didn't know who he was before the film, but I can still feel it didn't do him justice. Throughout the movie, the director Whitney Smith shows his incompetence in bringing to light the life of a famous icon. He is unprepared for his interviews, awkward around his guests, and seems to just be casually inserting some bits of interesting facts about his life. Some of the recounting of the past by celebs is worth noting here, but it is ruined by Smith. He may have been searching, but we certainly never found Halston in this film and my piece of advice - look him up online. You'll learn and appreciate his legacy more than this half-baked film. Expand
  2. Jun 10, 2012
    Lazy, self-indulgent nonsense. I really can't think of a worse documentary. You or I with no preparation and a Flipcam could do a more profound job. Halston was a fashion designer who really did deserve a proper documentary. This dolt Smith just clowns around in front of the camera. He should be ashamed of himself. Expand