Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (2017) Poster

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the shoes make the man
ferguson-620 September 2017
Greetings again from the darkness. Despite my lack of interest in high heels, or really high fashion in general, it's always exciting to gain some insight into the creative process of an acclaimed artist such as Manolo Blahnik. Unfortunately, Michael Roberts' (fashion writer by trade) directorial debut delivers more of a tribute than any type of peek behind the curtain. Heck, let's call it what it is … it's a fluff piece, plain and simple.

Mr. Blahnik has been labeled "the best shoemaker of the 20th and 21st centuries", despite his claims of being merely a humble cobbler. There are dramatizations mixed with interviews, and plenty of famous faces to fill the screen. In fact, Vogue editor Anna Wintour seems to log nearly as much screen time as Blahnik himself … and shockingly, she's giggling and smiling through most of it. Mr. Blahnik does make many of his own statements, including an admission of having no interest in politics or relationships. It seems designing the shoes is what keeps him going each day. And it's this point where the filmmaker misses the real opportunity to dive deep into the creative process.

As is common in the fashion world, celebrities are usually front and center. There is an extended segment with Rhiannon, and there's a glimpse of Donald Trump near the runway. Bianca Jagger, Diana Vreeland, and Sarah Jessica Parker all have their moments. We are shown a clip of Princess Diana wearing Manolo stilettos, and of course, a scene from "Sex and the City" is included … confirming the real audience for the film. Director Sofia Coppola describes her reasons for dressing the titular character of her film MARIE ANTOINETTE in Manolos, and there is an odd and slightly uncomfortable portion where Blahnik buddy Rupert Everett discusses Manolos for men, though seemingly in a contradictory manner.

There is nothing wrong with a lovefest celebration, but it is somewhat frustrating to listen to the gushing of admirers when a more insightful project is deserved, and would have been welcome.
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An absolute delight
hannahcgrant22 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
What an absolutely delightful film. An enchanting look into the magnificent world of Manolo Blahnik through the decades of his career. A film full or humour and quirk. A wonderful watch for those who love fashion, from students to industry experts, it really is for everyone. I would highly recommend this film.
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Boring. More like a "here I am!" from celebrities who wear his shoes.
ladybug253525 January 2018
BORING. While I enjoyed hearing about his interesting childhood, and he seems like a creative and nice person to know; I wanted to see more of his creative process. Not name dropping. They didn't even bother to label most of the people who appeared with their gushing testimonials after their first appearance--and if you blinked you missed it, apparently assuming we would all know who they were and where they fit in the fashion world. This was less a documentary about his shoes--or even him, and all too much about the people who know him--and wear his shoes. Given his lengthy career surely they could have discussed how he became so famous--how did he connect with so many well-known fashion designers early in his career?

The basic problem was that like most "celebrities", they can only talk about themselves and not the person they are supposed to be talking about. The only person I remember who actually shared stories about Mnalo himself was Anna Wintour, and her interview was the most interesting. If there was indeed more substance to this biography, it was overwhelmed by the self-congratulatory "here I am"! tone of most of the interviews, in which it was obvious that they were only there for their own moment on camera, not to celebrate the man they were there to actually talk about.

Overall the best part of the documentary was the clever animation. To put it bluntly this could have been far more interesting. While there was a segment showing him hands on in the factory, I for one would have liked to see more of this aspect of his business and process. This is a man who has spent most of his very successful career creating clever shoes (and honestly some are down-right ugly craft project worthy--juxtaposed with some genuinely beautiful and unique) for the wealthy. Why not at least show case the shoes? (I mean so you could actually see them)
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A well done fashion documentary
Koala_9912 October 2017
If you're into fashion and really interested into this style of practice, than you certainly must watch and will enjoy this documentary. It's the fashion biography documentary about the Spanish fashion designer Manolo Blahnik. It talks about his life, his career and his work.

To be honest, I'm not quite interested in fashion, but I got to say that this documentary is amazing. Besides fashion, it's about Manolo himself. He's really one cheerful and interesting human being, unique, absolute genius, funny, charming and kind. He has charisma and a really great personality. There're lots of celebrities and magazine editors, who have worked with Manolo, commenting about his work and great personality. Also the beautiful animation, design and music sets this colorful, dynamic and rhythmic tone and atmosphere throughout the documentary. The only problem that had bothered me, in some moments and occasions, the pacing and editing were a bit off and went too fast. But other than that, it's brilliant.

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well done Manolo!!!
sushig-7165022 September 2017
It was a very funny and entertaining movie, good music and photography. I loved the illustrations and the jokes. I like the man even more now that I saw him in this,he has a charming accent and nice voice. It is not a documentary on his life but a celebration of the man as an artist!
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Probably Should not have been made
arfdawg-123 February 2019
This is a documentary that probably should not have been made. It's rather boring actually and filled with poseurs who have way too much time on their hands.

Manolo himself is marginally interesting as a personality, but it wears thing within 10 minutes.

The fashion icon after fashion icon interviews just solidify the idea that these people are clueless about real life and live in this really shallow bubble.

If his shoes are great, god bless. But the wiki entry of him is really all you need to know.
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10/10 for Manolo!
Millie_B22 September 2017
I loved this film! I was smiling from start to finish! It's a fascinating and entertaining insight into the world of Manolo Blahnik! It's so interesting to learn about his path into the footwear industry, the hands on approach he has to the making of the footwear and the people he collaborates with from photographers to designers to models! A must watch for all who love fashion, especially shoes!
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Perfect for fashion fans
jackrandles22 September 2017
A must see for fashion fans. The imagery and animations are a wonderful touch and paint a fascinating picture of Manolo and his career. Iconic and well-known industry voices and celebrities discuss their relationships and his life, interlaced with interviews, dramatisations, old photos and recent events. He is a fascinating individual and the scenes showing the factories and his sketching are a great insight into his work and process. Overall, an artistic and engrossing feel-good documentary film - not something you see every day.
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A fashion film classic
J_Jones_8822 September 2017
This film was so fresh and insightful. Manolo Blahnik has such an interesting life and it was a pleasure to be able to experience his world. To learn about his influences and history was so inspiring to watch.

The illustrations are really cute and something to look out for when watching this film! Great music, anecdotes and cinematography.
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