Valentino: The Last Emperor

As frothy as the eponymous subject's evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer's observational docu frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

With:
With: Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Matteo Marzotto

As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after the two-year shoot — gives some depth to the pic’s adulatory tone, but what adds heart, and humor, is the interplay between the legendary couturier and Giancarlo Giammetti, his longtime partner in business and life. Extended fest play should segue into international broadcast.

Heavier on la dolce vita than the creation of couture, the pic contains a few intriguing peeks into Valentino’s atelier, where lab-coat-clad seamstresses hand-stitch his expensive designs. A gorgeous retrospective at Rome’s Ara Pacis museum reminds that they are works of art. The most over-the-top moments are from an extravaganza celebrating his 45th anniversary in fashion, set at an ancient temple site overlooking the Colosseum, boasting fireworks and flying models. Breathless editing and Fellini-redux score by Nino Rota reinforce the feeling of the subject’s gilded world. Handheld camerawork sometimes feels too hyperactive.

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Production: An Acolyte Films production. (International sales: Celluloid Dreams, Paris.) Produced by Matt Kapp, Matt Tynauer. Executive producer, Carter Burden III. Co-producer, Frederic Tcheng. Co-executive producer, Adam Leff. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Tom Hurwitz; editor, Bob Eisenhardt; co-editor, Frederic Tcheng; music, Nino Rota. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons Events), Aug. 28, 2008. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.) English, Italian, French dialogue. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Matteo Marzotto

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    South Australia Uncaps Post-Production Rebate Scheme

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • Korea's Gang Dong-won to Star in

    Korea's Gang Dong-won to Star in Simon West’s ‘Tsunami LA’

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • Korea Box Office: 'Steel Rain' Defeats

    Korea Box Office: 'Steel Rain' Defeats 'Star Wars' to Dominate Weekend

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • netflix-the-little-prince

    Mediawan Closes In on Acquisition of Dimitri Rassam's ON Kids & Family

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • China Box Office: Local Titles 'Youth'

    China Box Office: Local Titles 'Youth' and 'Dunjia' Dominate Weekend

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Four Reasons Why 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Isn't One for the Ages

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

  • Mark Hamill and Ted Cruz Get

    Mark Hamill and Ted Cruz Get in Net Neutrality-Related Twitter Fight

    As frothy as the eponymous subject’s evening gowns, debuting director (and Vanity Fair journo) Matt Tyrnauer’s observational docu “Valentino: The Last Emperor” frequently plays like an extended Fashion Channel segment crossed with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Touching on the haute couture industry’s changing market pressures –which led to Valentino Garavani’s retirement shortly after […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content