Lagerfeld Confidential Movie Review

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Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is a lot like Michael Jackson. How's that for a questionably complimentary comparison? Both are artistic geniuses who have reached the pinnacles of their professions despite their wacky eccentricities. Both are insanely rich and have used their money to create insular worlds crowded with yes men and enablers who cater to their every whim, no matter how bizarre. Both have interesting hair and a penchant for unusual wardrobes.

The difference is that Lagerfeld has his head screwed on straight. He's the one you'd rather go out to dinner with. In the fascinating Lagerfeld Confidential we go behind the scenes in Lagerfeld's rarefied world, peeking into the corners of his chaotic apartment, travelling with him around the world, watching photo shoots at his country estate, and seeing him hang out with Nicole Kidman, his commercial muse.

Along the way, Lagerfeld pauses for wonderfully reflective interviews during which he spits out aphorism after aphorism, proving that despite all the surface gloss, he's actually rather a deep thinker who has worked out a personal philosophy about fashion and life that makes good sense. "To do this," he says, "you must be ready to face injustice. Fashion is dangerous and unfair."

"I was born determined," Lagerfeld says, and he remembers his World War II-era childhood in northern Germany fondly. His distant mother made him work for her affection, which he actually appreciated, and her modern thinking made him comfortable with his homosexuality from an early age. He was off to Paris as a teen, and his long, hard slog to the top began.

Today Lagerfeld is behind many labels, most notably Chanel, and the film shows him juggling his responsibilities admirably. "It's work, not the high life," he says as he races around the world in a private jet showing collections, opening boutiques, and preparing bag loads of Chanel gifts for influential fashionistas. We also get to watch him work as a photographer, choreographing sexy photo shoots (and critiquing his own work instantly by looking at a Mac notebook held at his side by a good-looking minion). A photo shoot he does with Nicole Kidman is fascinating to watch. She turns her charisma on and off like a real pro. This is a world of shiny surfaces.

Lagerfeld deflects most questions about his personal life, claiming he's only ever really been in love with his work. "Solitude is a victory," he proclaims, adding that he needs a lot of time alone to recharge his creative batteries. Does anyone really know him? "I've molded people's perceptions about me," he says. In fact, he's molding our impressions by agreeing to be followed so closely by documentary cameras. This is a guy who's on from the moment he snaps on his Edwardian collar in the morning until he finally leaves the party with his entourage 20 hours later.

"I'm a complete improvisation," Lagerfeld declares. And it's quite a performance.

Aka Lagerfeld Confidentiel.

Cast & Crew

Director : Rodolphe Marconi

Producer : Gregory Bernard

Starring :

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Lagerfeld Confidential Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: NR, 2007


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