Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

2012, PG-13, 86 min. Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, Frédéric Tcheng.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Oct. 26, 2012

Je ne sais quoi doesn’t quite cut it, although French was Diana Vreeland’s first language. The visionary fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and later editor-in-chief at Vogue had that elusive, irreducible “it” quality, yes, but even more so: She knew what “it” was going to be before anyone else. Or maybe she invented “it,” and the magazine-buying public simply did as they were told.

Filmmakers Lisa Immordino Vreeland (the subject’s granddaughter-in-law, though the two never met), Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, and Frédéric Tcheng cast voice actors to perform from a transcript interview between Vreeland and another 20th century cultural icon, George Plimpton, in an aesthetic choice that squares spiritually with Vreeland’s own marvelous theatricality, but still puts the stink of fakery on the film from the word “go.” (“At least it wasn’t a dramatic reenactment,” the documentary purist sighs.) The filmmakers have done a fine job corralling so many fantastic tales from Vreeland’s life – her flair for self-mythologizing enlivens a story about how Wallis Simpson purchased three nightgowns from her on the eve of a weekend getaway with the king, after which he gave up the crown. (“My little lingerie shop had brought down the throne.”) And they cull together more fantastical tales, too, as in Vreeland’s childhood remembrance of a Charles Lindbergh flyby that historically could never have happened. The filmmakers leverage the Lindbergh faux-memory as an animated coda that’s both sentimental and dowdy – a disappointing counteraction to the absorbing material and stylish presentation that preceded it.

READ MORE
More Films
American Assassin
The bestselling series hits the screen

Marjorie Baumgarten, Sept. 22, 2017

Last Rampage
True story about a bloody prison break

Josh Kupecki, Sept. 22, 2017

More by Kimberley Jones
Best Wishes and Bon Voyage, Brandon Watson
Best Wishes and Bon Voyage, Brandon Watson
Chronicle Food editor sets sail, Jessi Cape assumes helm

Sept. 14, 2017

Tulip Fever
Intrigue blossoms in 17th century Amsterdam

Sept. 8, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, Frédéric Tcheng

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)