7.2/10
1,564
19 user 44 critic

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 8 May 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A look at the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino.

Director:

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.

Director: R.J. Cutler
Stars: Anna Wintour, Thakoon Panichgul, André Leon Talley
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An up-close-and-personal portrait of the fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld.

Director: Rodolphe Marconi
Stars: Karl Lagerfeld, Nicole Kidman, Brad Kroening
Dior et moi (2014)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons' first haute couture ... See full summary »

Director: Frédéric Tcheng
Stars: Christian Dior, Omar Berrada, Raf Simons
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A documentary on the Manhattan department store with interviews from an array of fashion designers, style icons, and celebrities.

Director: Matthew Miele
Stars: Rachel Zoe, Candice Bergen, Ashley Olsen
In Vogue: The Editor's Eye (TV Movie 2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Documentary film takes a look at some of the world's most influential fashion images as conceived by the magazine's iconic fashion editors.

Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Stars: Hamish Bowles, Grace Coddington, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at the life and work of the influential fashion editor of Harpers Bazaar, Diana Vreeland.

Directors: Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Diana Vreeland, Richard Avedon, David Bailey
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Director: Richard Press
Stars: Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A documentary focused on former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief and fashion stylist Carine Roitfeld as she moves to New York to launch her own magazine.

Director: Fabien Constant
Stars: Carine Roitfeld, Donatella Versace, Tom Ford
L'amour fou II (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary on the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge.

Director: Pierre Thoretton
Stars: Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Betty Catroux
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, "China: Through The Looking Glass," an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton.

Director: Andrew Rossi
Stars: Anna Wintour, Andrew Bolton, John Galliano
Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton (TV Movie 2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

From Japan to America, the LV sign dominates the fashion scene. And, one man alone designs the Louis Vuitton creations the exceptional Marc Jacobs.

Director: Loïc Prigent
Stars: Bernard Arnault, Marc Jacobs, Jade Jagger
Iris IX (2014)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.

Director: Albert Maysles
Stars: Carl Apfel, Harold Koda, Dries Van Noten
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Giancarlo Giammetti ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nati Abascal ...
Herself (as Naty Abascal)
...
Himself
Jeannie Becker ...
Herself
...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
Jacqueline de Ribes ...
Herself
Vicomtesse Jacqueline de Ribes ...
Herself
Alessandra Facchinetti ...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

A story of friendship, a retrospective, and a look at haute couture as business: we watch Valentino Garavani (1932- ) and partner Giancarlo Giammetti from preparation for the 2006 Spring/Summer Collection in Paris to a July 2007 retrospective of Valentino's 45-year career, which included dressing Jacqueline Kennedy. The film documents a year of work, shows, business changes, and decisions. We follow a creation from sketch to runway: he's always in pursuit of beauty. We're in Paris, Rome, and Venice. He receives the French Legion of Honor medal; his acceptance speech brings tears. Reporters ask when he'll retire. Is the Roman retrospective his career's finale? Cue Puccini. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity and language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Valentino - El último emperador  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,762 (USA) (20 March 2009)

Gross:

$1,755,134 (USA) (28 August 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As told to Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment (May 6, 2009), Director Matt Tyrnauer recounted that the film almost never made it to a commercial release. Both Giancarlo and Valentino hated the film on first viewing during a private screening in London and "were completely in shock". Although Tyrnauer had final cut, it took him over five months of negotiations before finally showing the film at the Venice film festival. At Venice the entire audience stood and gave a standing ovation to Valentino after the screening and Valentino apparently now loves the film. See more »

Goofs

In the closing credits, the archival footage from ZIEGFELD GIRL is credited as a "Warner Brothers" movie. It was an MGM movie but is released on home video by Warner Home Video. See more »

Quotes

scenographer: Well, we don't want to have nasty rails do we?
See more »

Connections

Features La Dolce Vita (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Two very good stories and a bit of repetition
12 April 2009 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

This documentary by 'Vanity Fair' correspondent Matt Tyrnauer tells two stories. First it depicts the extraordinarily long-lived life/business partnership of Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giametti. Second it shows the ravages of a changing world in which haute couture is falling into the hand of financiers and the exploiters of brand names. In the days of Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', Valentino met Giancarlo in Rome on the Via Veneto--they differ about at which café it was--and the friendship, love affair, and business partnership that resulted led to the 45-year reign of the house of Valentino. During the year filmmaker Tyrnauer followed the partners, Valentino is both spectacularly celebrated--and chooses to resign. Bought by investors, his name now belongs to others. It is likely that the fabulous gowns all sewn by hand and covered with embroidery and sequins by a team of industrious and skillful women in Milan will no longer be made. And the whole fashion industry is changing from the top down. Compared to where it was in the grand old days of the Fifties, it now is far more huge and enormously more profitable. But the fabulous haute couture design paraded on runways, fashion's creative center, is fading in scale and importance, because the money isn't there to pay for it. Couture is bleeding away its exquisite heart to the pursuit of "market share" and money.

In the days of his rise Valentino provided a whole wardrobe to Jacqueline Kennedy. And there were many others just as elegant and beautiful. His stated principle is that he gives women what they want and what they want is beauty. His style as a designer is supremely beautiful, accessible, classic--a little conventional (insofar as such craft and expense can be thought conventional). He awes and delights; he does not shock. Everything is sewn by hand. In the workshop where the women make his gowns, there was once a sewing machine, but nobody ever used it. The movie stars and the titled aristocrats still turn out for the fashion do's, but the fashions themselves, the most exquisite and luxurious of them, are facing gradual extinction.

Matt Tyrnauer made this film in 2007; his timing was good to tell his two stories, the human one and the financial one. (The financial one undercuts and spoils the aesthetic one, but no matter; that is the subliminal message.) He captured Valentino in Rome and Paris where he has fabulous houses, in his private plane where his five pugs take up a double leather-cushioned seat, and Gstaad where (though 75) he skies downhill at breakneck speed, and on his large and streamlined yacht. We see Valentino's marvelous hand as he sketches instantly perfect designs on paper. We see the arguments over ruffles and sequins and the head seamstress berating her underlings for their incompetence when a row of stitches must be done all over. The film is not so long on detail and history but it is strong on atmosphere. And it captures the dressed-to-the-nines Italian elegance of the perfectly suited Giancarlo and Valentino and the grandeur of the runways (none grander than these) and the tension and expletives and superlatives of the fitting room.

More important, Tyrnauer captured the ceremony in Paris where Valentino, never keen to admit debts to others, holds back sobs as he acknowledges, when made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, that he would never have won this medal nor had this glittering career without Giammetti forever at his side. The camera swerves breathlessly back and forth between the two men, collecting Valentino's gasps and Giancarlo's elegantly modest smile and nod of thanks. It is a great moment in the histories of fashion and of gay partnerships.

Later, in Rome, the fashion house spends 200,000 euros on a fabulously beautiful and elegant celebration of the designer's career. At this point for several years interest in company has been bought, and there is a new business partner, Matteo Marzotto. Then a financial investor has gotten hold of a controlling interest, and Valentino's resignation decision came two months after the celebration. He was never any good at business. A man with a sense of humor, he confesses in public that he was always hopeless at everything else besides designing clothes.

Valentino and Giancarlo are rarely apart, day and night. Giametti somewhat extravagantly declares that in 45 years he has only been away from Velentino for two months total. Tyrnauer has a moving target to deal with, shifting between places and from Italian to English to French in a moment. They are always on the move. Now and then the camera catches a choice moment of bickering. Velentino seems to object to pretty much anything he hasn't thought of himself, including a replaced ruffle, a desert background for a fashion show, a location for the Rome celebration, a choice of color. If it wasn't his idea, it sucks. He's often smiling, but his mouth is in a perpetual prune-y pout. Valentino thinks of himself as delivering decisions to Giancarlo, and often uses French to do so, though traded gibes about double chins or pot bellies or too dark a tan are tossed off in Italian. And there is much to amuse and to touch here. Or to gasp at: the Rome celebration is as breathtakingly gorgeous as any conspicuous display could ever be. Imagine having your life's work celebrated with fireworks over the Colosseum!

In another way Tyrnauer's timing wasn't so good, however. After 'Unzipped' (1995), 'Project Runway' (2005 following), two searching films about the career and life of Yves Saint Laurent (2002), 'The Devil Wears Prada' (2006), and the recent down-market but detailed chronicle of a failed fashion house launch, 'Eleven Minutes'(2008), movie-goers know a good deal about the haute couture story, so many elements and scenes of 'Valentino' are 'vieux jeux' by now, even though those of us who are fascinated by wearable art and the world of chicness will have to see it anyway.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page