Finding Vivian Maier (2014)

Finding Vivian Maier Movie Review

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Finding Vivian Maier Movie Review

Finding Vivian Maier is a 2014 documentary film chronicling the life and art of the recently discovered title artist.

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We have to make room for other people.

It’s a wheel. You get on. You go to the end.

And someone else has the same opportunity to go to the end.

And so on. And somebody else takes their place

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Finding Vivian Maier Movie Review

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The film begins somewhat abruptly and it is rushed failing to explain what the subject matter is, but it is also intriguing from the early start certainly making you interested for the rest. Then it starts to unravel the story as some sort of mystery and that is the biggest reason why this film works so well. It serves as a puzzle that you uncover more and more until you learn who this person is. And the ending is very beautiful concluding it wonderfully.

The direction is incredible here as well as the cinematography. But of course the editing is remarkable, it’s so fast paced and edited that it does not become obnoxious but rather entertaining and always very involving. Also, the whole documentary is so wonderfully crafted all around that it is easy to see the evident care that went into production.

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Finding Vivian Maier Movie Review

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What I found fascinating is the use of her photographs, but most importantly the interviews with the people who knew her and had some sort of relationship with her, because she was so introverted. The speeches and interviews are very warm and emotional because it is evident in their talk that they knew and cared for her and that is the finest aspect that distinguishes documentaries from biopics Рthe interviews are with real-life friends or relatives who knew the person thus achieving the very emotional and undoubtedly personal  approach helping you better understand the person.

What is also great here is how the filmmakers didn’t shy away from Vivian’s darker side exposing her unfortunate awful things she did to some of the kids she took care of. It adds to the realism of it all and makes the film such a great character study making you know the person as if you had met her.

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Finding Vivian Maier Movie Review

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The problem here is that they didn’t show much of the art aspect to the story and although what they showed is great, it should have been more. And the running time could have been longer given the fascinating subject matter. But the question it poses if it is okay to expose this person’s work after her death is thought-provoking as well as the nuances in her personality and of course the mysterious side to her. It makes you question her decision not to share her art with the people and if it is a necessary step in the artist’s life or if some of us are not like that and maybe she would find that intruding and would not want all the attention. Those are all fascinating questions making you think. The film is certainly smart.

Finding Vivian Maier could have been longer and should have delved deeper into the art aspect, but it is a magnificent documentary with a mysterious, puzzle approach to it, wonderful technical aspects, excellent personality study, some thought-provoking questions and all in all fascinating subject matter.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 2010s, 2014, Documentary, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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