November 23, 2009 The Unbiased Writer


Just a few days ago, The Academy released its much anticipated shortlist of nominations for best documentary feature in the upcoming 2010 Oscars.  Of the hundreds that were considered, only fifteen films made the cut. The highly anticipated documentary,  Capitalism: A Love Story, directed by the controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, was not nominated.  However, another love story of sorts, a critically acclaimed film directed by filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer, may take home the golden trophy.

Valentino: The Last Emperor is the final product of over two hundred hours of footage shot over two years by Tyrnauer, Vanity Fair Magazine’s Special Correspondent, who captures the final days in the career of legendary designer Valentino. The film also explores the current state of the fashion business as a whole, but Tyrnauer was granted a kind of access that had previously never been allowed in the exclusive world of Haute Couture and followed the “last true couturier” and his entourage: “We were let in to the inner circle, but we had to stick it out for a long time, practically move in, to capture the truly great moments.  Valentino is surrounded by a tight-knit family of friends and employees, but, eventually, their guard came down and they forgot there was a camera crew in the room.  He shuts out all that is not beautiful, and we followed him around the world to capture that special world.”

Yet at its heart, it is a film about love, as it explores the relationship between Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti, his business partner and companion of 50 years.  Valentino: The Last Emperor has been called “a film and fashion worldwide event marking the end of an era”.  Perhaps there is one documentary on the shortlist that deserves film’s ultimate prize.  What do you think?

Written by- Ashley Ellis



  1. serendipity

    It looks like a good film, but let’s face it… it was going to get a bunch of attention regardless because of the subject. That’s I think what pisses some people off about the Academy. I’ll have to watch it and judge for myself.

  2. ella

    love documentaries about people in the fashion industry in general because it gives you a peek into their world beyond the fashion aspect…their family life and their close friends! I watched September Issue about Anna winters (great film by the way) and it was so sad to see that her daughter didn’t appreciate the huge role her mother has in the fashion industry…her daughter said something to the extent of “I don’t understand people in the fashion industry…they think that fashion is the only thing in life…hello there are other things in the world that are more important” heartbreaking really (her daughter is going law school)…but it seems as though Valentino has a great cohort of people surrounding him

  3. S.

    The Last Emperor…

    It makes sense for the documentary to display his relationship since it is a part of his everyday life, but I hope it doesn’t completely focus on it. He is known for being a fashion designer, not someone’s boyfriend…idk…I am sure this will be great. The reviews are great and I like what I see so far from the trailer. I will know soon enough.


  4. sarah

    really neat doc, I had the chance to view it a few weeks ago…I recommend it to anyone that loves fashion!

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