Mapplethorpe (2018)

  |  Biography, Drama


Mapplethorpe (2018) Poster

A look at the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe from his rise to fame in the 1970s to his untimely death in 1989.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

6.3/10
240

Videos


Photos

  • Matt Smith at an event for Mapplethorpe (2018)
  • Matt Smith in Mapplethorpe (2018)
  • Eliza Dushku at an event for Mapplethorpe (2018)
  • Mapplethorpe
  • Mapplethorpe
  • Matt Smith and Thomas Philip O'Neill in MAPPLETHORPE

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


1 March 2019 | ferguson-6
6
| a full look
Greetings again from the darkness. Writer-director Ondi Timoner goes head on (so to speak) with the story of Robert Mapplethorpe, the immensely talented and endlessly controversial photographer whose work in the 70's and 80's was often considered scandalous, if not pornographic. Ms. Timoner and star Matt Smith (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES) are unflinching in this look at the artist, his personal life, and his work ... although I personally flinched a few times.

The opening scene is quite unusual as Mapplethorpe is shown alone in his small dorm room, attired in full Pratt Institute uniform, just prior to dropping out. We next see his NYC meet with Patti Smith (Marianne Rendon), and watch the two oddball youngsters connect. Their relationship develops as Robert shifts from drawing to photography, stating, "I'm an artist. I would have been a painter, but the camera was invented". The couple wriggles their way into the Chelsea Hotel and soon Mapplethorpe is focused on male nudes not just as artistic models, but also as personal pleasure. His interests send Patti Smith packing ... and understandably so.

Mapplethorpe's career takes off when Sam Wagstaff (John Benjamin Hickey) becomes his benefactor and lover. Sam's connections in the art world lead to gallery shows and work that Robert might never have attained. The film never shies away from Mapplethorpe's daddy issues, his promiscuity, his drug use, or his intolerance of those who didn't "get" his work. His fascination with male genitalia in both art and personal life is on full display, as many of his actual photographs are shown throughout.

Once diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, his sexual irresponsibility probably should have been emphasized, but other than that, filmmaker Timoner never tries to sugar coat the man. He seemed to crave attention, yet so many wanted love from him - Patti Smith, Sam Wagstaff, his father (Mark Moses, "Mad Men"), and his brother (who worked with him), all tried to establish that bond, but things just never quite clicked.

Other fine supporting work is provided by Hari Nef, Mickey O'Hagan (TANGERINE), Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Brandon Sklenar. Mapplethorpe's story would likely be best handled via documentary, but Mr. Smith's performance is worthy of attention. The film does a nice job of relaying the two sides to Mapplethorpe's work - the provocative and the portraits. He took some iconic photos of celebrities including the cover of Patti Smith's debut album "Horses".

Ms. Smith's 2010 memoir "Just Kids" paints a more complete picture of their relationship, and it's interesting to note that although he died in 1989, Mapplethorpe's work continues to generate emotional responses. In fact, his work inspired a national debate about whether the government should fund the arts. Ms. Timoner's film has been well received at LGBTQ festivals, and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation is devoted to protecting and promoting his work, while raising millions of dollars for AIDS research. His legacy is much more than some black and white photographs of nude models.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews


More Like This

  • Wild Nights with Emily

    Wild Nights with Emily

  • Snapshots

    Snapshots

  • The Wedding Guest

    The Wedding Guest

  • Bixa Travesty

    Bixa Travesty

  • Every Act of Life

    Every Act of Life

  • The Blonde One

    The Blonde One

  • Giant Little Ones

    Giant Little Ones

  • Diane

    Diane

  • Knife+Heart

    Knife+Heart

  • Vita & Virginia

    Vita & Virginia

  • 1985

    1985

  • Gloria Bell

    Gloria Bell

Did You Know?

Trivia

James Franco was originally set to play the title character.


Soundtracks

The Model
Written by
Michael Turner and Brian Zack Lewis
Performed by Michael Turner and Brian Zack Lewis
Courtesy of Media Creature Properties
Played in Robert's studio as he shoots a new subject during the 80s. Edward returns for his old job

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Biography | Drama

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Picks His Iron Throne Winner

"Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau won't spoil how the show really ends, but does share his favorite Jaime scene and pick who would win in a battle for the throne.

Watch now

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com