Velvet Goldmine

Conceptual to a fault, writer-director Todd Haynes (Poison, Safe) realizes one of his oldest and most cherished projectsa celebration of the glam-rock era and the bisexuality it turned into an opulent circuswith wit, glitter, and energy, but with such a scant sense of character or period that it leaves one feeling relatively empty as soon as it’s over. Apart from its coy prologue (positing Oscar Wilde as the grand precursor to glam) and its cumbersome borrowings from the narrative structure of Citizen Kane, this 1998 film offers enough entertaining surface, snappy montage, and musical theater to keep one absorbed, but little of the tantalizing mystery that made Safe such an enduring experience. Executive producer Michael Stipe had a hand in the sound track, which mixes vintage recordings with new material performed by Mike Watt, Bernard Butler, Ron Asheton of the Stooges, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley. With Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Eddie Izzard, and Toni Collette. (JR)

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