A question that any biographical documentary must face is how do you capture the soul, personality, and genius of your subject matter? McQueen tackles the challenge through a thorough, intelligent, and enthralling approach to his work and personality.
This framework works to profound effect as we watch the character and legend of Alexander McQueen rise and fall in front of us. From the chirpy, cheeky chappy overwhelming Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design to his drug-affected time at Givenchy and Gucci, deluged with stress and pressure, the film enthrals throughout.
What’s truly great about the documentary is the textured, detailed portrait of McQueen the film delivers. The love and frustration at this individual from all who worked with him, adds layer upon layer of wondrous, enriching, absorbing detail.
The depth to which directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui go to, when describing McQueen, allows his art to shine. His fashion shows are marvellous, confronting, game changing works of genius. McQueen’s detailed approach breaks down any barriers between the art and the viewer; with the human behind them all is clear and present in your mindset throughout. The high point of the film is his teary love for his 1999 spring/summer show, as robotic arms spray-paint a DIY dress. The connection between viewer and subject is palpable as his joy is our own. A true testament to the filmmakers’ skill.
There are only a few blemishes with an all-too-neat finale for such a genius of wild habits that is ill-fitting, and there’s an occasion lean towards avoiding McQueen’s wider flaws. All things considered, McQueen is an unmissable feast for the heart.
McQueen tip-toes the tonal balance of over reverence and deserved genius, with only minor faults. This documentary is an elegiac, beautiful, and engrossing look at a remarkable talent.
DIRECTORS: Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui
WRITER: Peter Ettedgui
SYNOPSIS: The story of late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, journey from East London to global fame.