Thursday, December 25, 2014

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NY1 Movie Review: "Vidal Sassoon: The Movie"

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The life of innovative hairstylist and entrepreneur Vidal Sassoon and how he influenced the world of women's hair fashion is the basis of a new documentary. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.

Vidal Sassoon, the cutting edge hairstylist and entrepreneur is the subject of a new documentary. The film starts with Vidal Sassoon's humble and poor beginnings in London's East End. He lived for a time in an orphanage and faced prejudice.

Reuniting with his mother as a young man, she had a vision for him. So even though it wasn't his ideal career choice at the time -- he actually wanted to to pursue architecture -- the young Vidal embraced his mom's advice and used geometry on women's hairdos.

The result yielded many memorable hairstyles for women that broke the traditional mold of what women's haircutting had been up to that time.

Sassoon, who became a star in his own right, is interviewed over a period of several years and essentially narrates the film, letting his life story unfold and telling us about his approach to business and haircare.

But filmmaker Craig Teper loads his documentary with way too many testimonials from colleagues, who talk about Sassoon with so much reverence that it's overkill.

The filmmaker, who obviously worships his subject, wants you to believe that Vidal Sassoon was responsible for the cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Now, I'm not undercutting Sassoon's innovative and valuable contributions, but this documentary goes too far in terms of self promotion.

The film comes off as a vanity project. When it does succeed, it's in its humbler moments, like when it looks at some of the hard knocks in Sassoon's life or the film's rare attempts at objectivity.

Sassoon, himself, is engaging in the film, but this documentary -- although interesting at times -- is too fawning of its subject, loses perspective and often wastes good opportunities. There is a good story to tell here, it just could have been told in much better fashion.

Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Two Apples ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP