Velvet Goldmine

November 6th, 1998


more trailers Velvet Goldmine

Still of Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet GoldmineStill of Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet GoldmineChristian Bale at event of Velvet GoldmineStill of Ewan McGregor in Velvet GoldmineStill of Christian Bale in Velvet GoldmineStill of Toni Collette in Velvet Goldmine

In 1984, British newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart is investigating the career of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade...

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 6.7/10 (17,021 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Director: Todd Haynes

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale

In 1984, British newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart is investigating the career of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by American rock singer Curt Wild, whose show was quite crazy for his time.

Writers: James Lyons, Todd Haynes

Ewan McGregor - Curt Wild
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - Brian Slade
Christian Bale - Arthur Stuart
Toni Collette - Mandy Slade
Eddie Izzard - Jerry Devine
Emily Woof - Shannon
Michael Feast - Cecil
Janet McTeer - Female Narrator(voice)
Mairead McKinley - Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver - Oscar Wilde, 8
Osheen Jones - Jack Fairy, 7
Micko Westmoreland - Jack Fairy
Damian Suchet - BBC Reporter
Danny Nutt - Kissing Sailor
Wash Westmoreland - Young Man

Taglines: The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one

Release Date: 6 November 1998

Filming Locations: Croydon, London, England, UK

Opening Weekend: £156,050 (UK) (25 October 1998) (77 Screens)

Gross: $1,053,788 (USA) (20 December 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The singer performing a lounge version of Roxy Music's "Bitters End" is 'Peter Bradley Jr' from the band Subcircus, a last minute replacement for Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals.

Anachronisms: There are ads for "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miserables" on the side of the London double-decker bus in 1974 London.

Curt Wild: Listen, a real artist creates beautiful things and puts nothing of his own life into them, OK?

User Review

Velvet Goldmine and Dorian Gray


Even if I didn't think this movie was fantastic (which I do), I would have to be impressed with the incorporation of Oscar Wilde, his fascination with the decadence of pop culture, and his brilliant philosophies concerning art.

At the end of the film, when Arthur Stuart sits to have a drink with Curt Wylde (Oh look! A play on Oscar!, Wylde looks up and tells him that, "The true artist creates beautiful things, and puts none of his own life into them". This is one of the several scenes in which Oscar Wilde is referenced subtly, seamlessly and beautifully.

Curt is not simply Iggy Pop. He is Oscar Wilde. He is the true artist of the crowd, because he creates music without using the art as a form of autobiography.

Brian Slade is Dorian Gray. He invests all of his persona into the public, and into his songs, trapping himself in an expectation. The alter-ego Maxwell Demon is eternal youth. It is the embodiment of Slade in a single moment. Unfortunately, he traps himself, and leaves no room for growth. The shooting accomplishes two things. Slade arranging this pseudo-murder is Dorian gray destroying his portrait. At first Dorian was intrigued, even excited by the changes he saw in the painting. Then it began to wear on him. So with Slade/ Demon. The hoax liberates Slade the way death does Gray. Also, This secures Maxwell Demon a place in history. Brian Slade was a pop-star who was too controversial and too personally naked in his work to have any real longevity. The hype would have faded, and if he changed or grew as a person, that would have meant changing everything about his art (as they were so interlocked) and would have led to cries of "sell out". Either way, he would have faded out and been likely forgotten (the way Britney Spears will hopefully do one day). By enacting this faux death, Slade guarantees Maxwell Demon some form of eternal youth, trading in his career to do so (selling his soul).

There's more, as well. Jerry Devine, for instance, is Lord Henry. Mandy is Sybil Vane. They aren't exact, of course, and there are other veins running through them that make them unique, but one can see the influence.

Beautifully done, and a well paid tribute to the genius of Oscar Wilde!