Anna Wintour isn’t mentioned in Fabien Constant’s hollow, back-patting documentary on former Vogue Paris EIC Carine Roitfeld—but she haunts every frame, including the few in which she’s shown, shadily alienated and her signature bob coiffured like a helmet. Whereas Wintour is all chic mystique, her Euro counterpart is all haughty fizz, and similar comparisons could be made between the editrixes’ respective docs: R.J. Cutler’s sleek 2009 glimpse at American Vogue’s prerecession glory, The September Issue, was a workplace flick both hip to fashion’s self-regard and stocked with creative conflict. This is merely a vanity project that shamelessly plugs Roitfeld’s new stateside brand.
Constant’s subject can’t articulate what she does (“I’d say image maker, but that doesn’t mean anything,” she says in what sounds like industry seppuku), and the director and Roitfeld only truly align in the peddling of surface. The documentarian may create the visceral sense of being inside a photo shoot while the latter can wax ecstatic about her myriad virtues, but you never learn why, exactly, she deserves a feature-length portrait. “Maybe people will get sick of me,” Roitfeld muses. A little more than 90 minutes should do the trick.
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