Following his breakthrough feature, Secretary, director Steven Shainberg creates a ravishing imaginary portrait of the visionary artist Diane Arbus in his new film, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. Much as an actual Arbus photo transports us into strange and unfamiliar worlds, FUR travels through the looking glass to explore the transformation of a shy woman into a powerfully original artist. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman stars as 'Diane Arbus,' a devoted wife and mother whose innate talents and dark obsessions are profoundly at odds with the conventional life she leads in 1958 New York. Oscar-nominee Robert Downey Jr. co-stars as Lionel, an enigmatic new neighbor who launches Diane on her journey to becoming the artist she is meant to be.
Inspired by Patricia Bosworth's book 'Diane Arbus: A Biography,' Fur pays homage to a brilliant artistic talent who challenged accepted notions of beauty and ugliness, and forever changed photography through her radical techniques and subject matter. Aptly, Shainberg and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson have conjured Furnot as a biopic, but as something different and original, unique and mysterious, intertwining real aspects of Arbus's life with invented characters and an imaginary narrative. It is a new way of cinematically approaching the portrayal of an historically important person, and captures the real dilemma of a 1958 housewife who is torn between love for her husband and children and her profound need to create and explore. Brilliantly performed by Kidman and Downey, Fur is a tale of artistic and personal self-discovery; an Alice-in-Wonderland adventure that is both exciting and scary, and ultimately, deeply moving.
As Fur opens, a small audience of wealthy furriers is expected at the Arbus Family Photography Studio and home for a fashion show of the latest furs from Russek's, the posh Fifth Avenue fur and department store run by Diane's father. It is a stressful event for D