May 14, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Velvet Goldmine

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette, Eddie Izzard
director
Todd Haynes
genre
Drama, Musical
We gave it a B

Melding the bio of Ziggy Stardust and the aesthetics of critic Walter Pater, Todd Haynes’ warmly surreal third feature opens as a space oddity deposits a newborn Oscar Wilde on his parents’ Dublin doorstep, then jumps forward 100 years to the rock-n-roll homicide of pop star Brian Slade. Rhys-Meyers is Slade; McGregor, his pogoing Iggy-esque cohort; Bale, the fanboy-turned-reporter on a Citizen Kane-style quest to ferret out Slade’s past. Haynes’ pointed musings on identity politics and queer theory make Velvet Goldmine too cerebral for its own good; thanks, then, to class clown McGregor, whose dirty, dirty rendition of ”T.V. Eye” is pure punk gravy. B+

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