Fur (film)

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Fur movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Shainberg
Produced byLaura Bickford
Patricia Bosworth
Andrew Fierberg
William Pohlad
Bonnie Timmermann
Screenplay byErin Cressida Wilson
Based onDiane Arbus: A Biography by Patricia Bosworth
StarringNicole Kidman
Robert Downey Jr.
Music byCarter Burwell
CinematographyBill Pope
Edited byKristina Boden
Keiko Deguchi
River Road Entertainment
Distributed byPicturehouse
Release date
  • November 10, 2006 (2006-11-10)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$16.8 million
Box office$2.3 million[1]

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (also known simply as Fur) is a 2006 American romantic drama film directed by Steven Shainberg and written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on Patricia Bosworth's book Diane Arbus: A Biography. It stars Nicole Kidman as iconic American photographer Diane Arbus, who was known for her strange, disturbing images, and also features Robert Downey Jr. and Ty Burrell. As the title implies, the film is largely fictional.


The cinematic Arbus is torn between a bizarre relationship with a neighbor who has hypertrichosis, Lionel Sweeney, and a conventional life with her husband Allan. An incident with a clogged drain leads her to a relationship with Lionel and entry into a netherworld populated by transvestites, dwarves and others living on the fringes of society. Gradually she is attracted more and more to Lionel and this new, strange and exciting world. When Lionel explains that he suffers from a problem with his lungs and will die soon he asks Diane to shave his entire body clean. They have sex soon afterwards. At the beach, where Lionel always wanted to go for once in his life, both go out for a swim, but Lionel decides to commit suicide by staying under. Diane, touched by her experience with Lionel, now knows what direction to take with her life and career. The final scene shows her at a nudist camp, where she meets a woman who assumes she wants to take her picture. Arbus admits this, but first asks the woman to tell her a secret. The woman asks Diane to tell her a secret first, and Diane agrees.



For the film, director Shainberg, best known for his erotic indie film Secretary, reunited with its screenwriter, Erin Cressida Wilson, who used Patricia Bosworth's Diane Arbus: A Biography as a source. As its name implies, the film is a fictional account rather than an accurate biography.

No pictures by Arbus herself are featured, as her estate refused approval.[2][3]

The nudist colony of Camp Venus was shot at Sailors' Snug Harbor in Staten Island.


The film holds a 50 score on Metacritic.[4]

The Chicago Tribune gave the film 3 out of 4 stars: "The result is a revelatory, challenging and deeply affecting portrait, anchored by what may be Kidman's most profoundly moving performance."[5]

The Los Angeles Times criticized the "cop-out ending that undercuts its message about the unimportance of surface differences in favor of a glib finalities to have its cake and eat it too". Although the newspaper continued to heap praise on Kidman and Downey Jr; "the remarkable acting of its two stars pulls you back in and keeps you watching. Kidman, the most consistently daring of today's top stars, is exceptionally convincing as someone whose interior process plays out in front of us. And Downey, for the most part using only his soulful, yearning eyes and a silky, urbane voice, creates a man no one could resist. Separately and together, they make us believe the unbelievable."[6]


The soundtrack to Fur was released on November 14, 2006.

1."The Fur"Carter Burwell3:11
2."Tango de la Bête"Carter Burwell1:23
3."Scary Times"Carter Burwell1:38
4."Arbus Family Photo Studio"Carter Burwell1:53
5."My Arms Around Myself"Carter Burwell1:54
6."Exposure"Carter Burwell0:57
7."Seduction"Carter Burwell1:09
8."Pipes"Carter Burwell1:36
9."Ad Ultima Thule"Carter Burwell3:30
10."Call of the Wild"Carter Burwell1:06
11."The Tea Party"Carter Burwell2:08
12."Following"Carter Burwell1:58
13."The Run Back Home"Carter Burwell1:16
14."Water Dream"Carter Burwell3:13
15."Stepping Out"Carter Burwell1:04
16."A Dead Person"Carter Burwell1:19
17."Trap Door Party"Carter Burwell1:13
18."Drowning"Carter Burwell1:36
19."End It"Carter Burwell1:22
20."Transmission"Carter Burwell2:28
21."The Shave"Carter Burwell5:22
22."Into The Sea"Carter Burwell5:03
23."I Want to Meet Your Husband"Carter Burwell0:53
Total length:47:12[7]


  1. ^ "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Thomson, David (2008-12-10). Nicole Kidman. ISBN 9780307488794.
  3. ^ Kidd, Chip (2015). Judge This. ISBN 9781476784786.
  4. ^ Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Metacritic. Retrieved on 17 December 2009
  5. ^ Movie review: 'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus' Chicago Tribune. 16 November 2006
  6. ^ MOVIE REVIEW 'Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus' Los Angeles Times. 10 November 2006
  7. ^ Fur Soundtrack AllMusic. Retrieved February 26, 2014

External links[edit]