Review: ‘Beautiful Darling’

Sad but sweet docu "Beautiful Darling" pays loving tribute to star Candy Darling.

Sad but sweet docu “Beautiful Darling” pays loving tribute to star Candy Darling, a strikingly beautiful male-to-female transsexual who enjoyed a bit more than 15 minutes of fame as one of Andy Warhol’s superstars before dying young in 1974. Given Darling’s closest friend Jeremiah Newton both appears onscreen and takes a credit here as producer, pic overhypes Darling’s talents as a thesp, but still persuasively showcases her innate charisma. Gay fests are likely to blow kisses pic’s way before ancillary afterlife.

Interviews and excerpts from Darling’s journals and letters (read by Chloe Sevigny) unspools story of how she escaped suburbia for Manhattan to pursue dream of becoming a star. After she got in with Warhol and the Factory crowd, she rose to prominence, appearing in several Warhol films (most notably “Women in Revolt”) and is namechecked in Lou Reed’s “A Walk on the Wild Side.” Interviewees include many of the usual surviving suspects, who’ve been in lots of other pics about Warhol’s associates. Tech credits are serviceable.

Beautiful Darling


A JJay Prods.production, in association with Sundance Channel, Citi Prods. (International sales: Beautiful Darling, New York City.) Produced by Jeremiah Newton, Elisabeth Bentley. Executive producer, Michael J. Newman, D.J. Martin. Directed, written by James Rasin.


Camera (color/B&W, HDCAM SR), Martina Radwan; editor, Zac Stuart-Pontier; music, Gerald Busby. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 12, 2010. Running time: 86 MIN.


Chloe Sevigny, Patton Oswalt, Jeremiah Newton, Paul Morrissey, Fran Lebowitz, Julie Newmar, Bob Colacello, John Waters, Taylor Mead, Gerard Malanga, Glenn O'Brien, Jayne County, Helen Hanft, Agosto Machado.

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