Review: HALSTON Gets Stuck On The Runway

FIRST IMPRESSION

Halston tells the crazy true story of the fashion icon in a way that is sadly traditional, despite what the filmmakers seemed to be attempting.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Halston is a new documentary film directed by Frédéric Tcheng. The movie follows the eponymous fashion designer as he rises to prominence and dominance in the fashion industry in the 1970’s until his empire goes up in flames as a result of questionable decision-making. It has played at festivals including the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

Halston’s story is undeniably intriguing because he was, at one time, one of the most well-known names in fashion. It is interesting to see his rags-to-riches story and how he defied the odds to become a revolutionary figure in the industry in which he worked. However, his story also serves as a cautionary tale because of how he let his ambition go too far, ultimately causing his downfall.

The film does a solid job of making the audience respect and admire him for his accomplishments and the struggles he faced, and pity him for his mistakes, yet the movie fails to provide a satisfying enough glimpse into him as a person as opposed to simply a fashion icon. To fix this, the film could have spent more time exploring his personal life, such as his sexuality or his experience with AIDS.

One of the more ambitious parts of the movie is its narrative device, but this is sadly a swing-and-a-miss. The film starts out by saying that it is a documentary, but the narrator is fictional. This is an interesting concept, but you are left wondering what it actually does for the story because this character is used so inconsistently and insignificantly that the movie would have been better off with a more straightforward presentation.

The pacing of the film is somewhat weak too. The beginning of the movie does drag a bit. For as much as this film wants to avoid being a straightforward biography, it does fall victim to cliches and documentary tropes more often than you would expect. The second half of the movie, where a majority of the conflict takes place, is much more interesting but feels rushed. As a whole, the film needed more balanced pacing.

The interviews in the movie are very interesting, but you will be left wanting more of them. It is nice to see familiar faces that worked with Halston, such as actress Liza Minnelli, presenting their stories and perspectives on his life and career, but the film doesn’t take full advantage of this. A few more familiar faces make appearances, but none are as recognizable or extensively used as Minnelli.

On a technical level, the movie was quite well-done. Although the storytelling is relatively straightforward, the methods which the filmmakers used to tell that story are quite excellent. The cinematography, during both the interviews and the staged narrator moments, is very good, and the editing is great.

Overall, Halston was a solidly-made documentary, but it takes a disappointingly straightforward approach to such an impressive story. Nonetheless, Halston’s importance in the industry means that anyone interested in fashion will likely find this film to be fascinating.

Halston is now playing in theaters.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Outlander | Catch Up w/ Caitriona & Sam – End of Summer Series Episode 4 | STARZ

In the final episode of the Outlander End of Summer Series, catch up with Caitriona and Sam as they talk about what they’ve been up to and answer fan questions, all benefiting Doctors Without Borders. Rewatch all seasons of Outlander on the STARZ App: http://starz.tv/WatchOutlanderYT Pre-order your copy of the Outlander Season 5 Collector’s Edition…

INTERVIEW: Director Kyle Couch Talks The Tent And Learning From Filmmaking

The Tent is a survival film in a post-apocalyptic world directed by Kyle Couch and starring Tim Kaiser (Star Trek: Horizon) as David, a man surviving on his own until another survivor emerges and brings doubt to David’s way of life in the process.

Vacation In Place: Monterey • Now Streaming on Hulu

Take a virtual vacay to the spectacular hills of Monterey, California. Vacation In Place scenics are now streaming on Hulu. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: http://www.youtube.com/hulu?sub_confi START YOUR FREE TRIAL http://hulu.com/start FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hulu/ Hulu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hulu…

Vacation In Place: Trailer (Official) • Now Streaming on Hulu

Take a mini vacay right from your couch with our Vacation In Place scenics. Now streaming on Hulu. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: http://www.youtube.com/hulu?sub_confi START YOUR FREE TRIAL http://hulu.com/start FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hulu/ Hulu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hulu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hulu

Hispanic Heritage Month | STARZ

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with us all month long! Enjoy your favorites like #Vida, #TheSpanishPrincess, #MaidinManhattan, and more on the #STARZ App now. #STARZ Subscribe to the STARZ YouTube Channel for more: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like STARZ on Facebook: http://starz.tv/STARZFacebookYT Follow STARZ on Twitter: http://starz.tv/STARZTwitterYT Follow STARZ on Instagram: http://starz.tv/STARZInstagramYT Visit STARZ on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1mkHKgZ

Vacation In Place: Central Coast California • Now Streaming on Hulu

Take a virtual vacay to the majestic California Coast. Vacation In Place scenics are now streaming on Hulu. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: http://www.youtube.com/hulu?sub_confi START YOUR FREE TRIAL http://hulu.com/start FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hulu/ Hulu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hulu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hulu

Star Trek Day 2020 | Tawny Newsome’s Favorite Parts Of Lower Decks Include Jack Ransom

It can be tough realizing you're attracted to an animated Star Trek commander. Tawny Newsome (Beckett Mariner) jokes that the animators need to "tone it down" for Season 2. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Lower Decks airs in Canada on…

Our Cartoon President | Season 3 Ep. 10 | Full Episode (TV14)

Coronavirus. With the pandemic ravaging the country and his reelection in jeopardy, Cartoon Trump launches a propaganda campaign to convince America he's got the crisis under control. Mid-season premiere. Order SHOWTIME to watch more. TV14. Watch new episodes of Our Cartoon President on Sundays at 8:30/7:30c on SHOWTIME. #OurCartoonPresident Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel:…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here