5.7/10
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488 user 178 critic

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

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A satire set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles, where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce.

Director:

Dan Gilroy

Writer:

Dan Gilroy
Reviews
Popularity
1,245 ( 56)

Step Inside 'Velvet Buzzsaw'

At Sundance 2019, filmmaker Dan Gilroy and members of his Velvet Buzzsaw cast cut to the core of the Netflix thriller — and Gilroy's connection with star Rene Russo.

Watch our interviews

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Morf Vandewalt
Rene Russo ... Rhodora Haze
Zawe Ashton ... Josephina
Tom Sturridge ... Jon Dondon
Toni Collette ... Gretchen
Natalia Dyer ... Coco
Daveed Diggs ... Damrish
John Malkovich ... Piers
Billy Magnussen ... Bryson
Alan Mandell Alan Mandell ... Dease
Mig Macario ... Cloudio
Nitya Vidyasagar ... Gita
Sedale Threatt Jr. ... Ed
Keith Bogart ... Husband at Art Basel Will Call
Sofia Toufa ... Wife at Art Basel Will Call
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Storyline

A satire set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles, where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the writer and director of "Nightcrawler" See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Velvet Buzzsaw See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Netflix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When asked how he came up with the names in the film, director Dan Gilroy states that his love for Charles Dickens's novels inspired him. Gilroy states to Thrillist, "Dickens was a master at using large casts and defining them in incredible ways, and one of the ways he did them was with names. It was slightly elevated, almost hyper-real names. I've always been interested in using names to flesh out a character." He goes on to state, "In this campy, kitschy satire of a world we were creating, I wanted names that were a little over the top. I do collect names. I have files of names. Morf Vandewalt is a name I came along a number of years ago in research." See more »

Goofs

Several characters are seen smoking in the galleries. This is a major breach of etiquette in the art world and likely against laws regarding smoking in public (filmed in Miami, there is a Florida statute banning public smoking). See more »

Quotes

Josephina: I make you hard, huh?
Morf Vandewalt: You make me confused.
Josephina: Tough headspace for a critic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the first part of the credits, Piers is creating art in the sand. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Month in Movies: February 2019 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleeping on My Own
Written by Geoffroy Sauve and Max-Antoine Gendron
Performed by Geoffroy
Courtesy of Bonsounds Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining!
1 February 2019 | by BestBenediktSee all my reviews

Dan Gilroy reunites with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for his new Netflix cooperation VELVET BUZZSAW.

What saves this film, is the lead performance by Gyllenhaal, who plays art critic Morf Vandewalt and provides for lots of great quotes that had me grinning throughout the movie. In contrast to NIGHTCRAWLER's Louis Bloom though, his character here is written as a more naive and less calculating person.

Gilroy's new film definitely lacks the punch of NIGHTCRAWLER. While especially in the first half of the movie the execution of its core premise, exposing the hypocrisy of the artistic elite, ironically turns out to be mostly superficial, Gilroy basically plays with standard horror tropes in the second half. "No originality, no courage", Vandewalt would probably judge. Last year's THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT definitely had way more to say in that regard.

VELVET BUZZSAW is still a somewhat entertaining film from start to finish, even if it obviously struggles with its narrative at times and didn't turn out to be the masterpiece that NIGHTCRAWLER was.


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