Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
An admiring look at the legendary couturier
Valentino: The Last Emperor is an “air kiss of a documentary,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. Light, frivolous, and more than a little affected, the film follows fashion designer Valentino Garavani, his longtime companion and business partner Giancarlo Giametti, and their spoiled family of pugs as they jet-set around Europe. Taking advantage of “impressive” access, first-time filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer traces the final two years of Valentino’s illustrious career, which ended in Rome with a three-day celebration of his 45 years in fashion. “‘Celebration’ is too mild a word” for the party—and for this film, said Stephen Holden in The New York Times. “Watching the movie is a little like gorging on chocolate and Champagne”—you soon feel you’ve overindulged. Because Tyrnauer focuses on Valentino’s fabulous lifestyle rather than his personal story, he “offers only the sketchiest biography.” Though far from definitive, Valentino is an “attentive, affectionate portrait,” said Richard Corliss in Time. Mostly, the film “shows that’s it’s good to be the king,” and that’s exactly how the imperious Valentino would want to be remembered.