Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Tag Archive for 'review'

Desert Flower

Release Date: 3-18-11 (USA); 9-24-2009 (Germany)

Runtime: 127 min.

Period: 1968 – 1997

Costume Designer: Gabriele Binder

I read Waris Dirie’s autobiographical book Desert Flower (the basis for this film) back in 1998 when it came out. I was captivated by her bravery and stunned by her life story: young girl from a nomadic tribe escapes arranged marriage in Somalia, comes to London, becomes a supermodel and a UN ambassador. But that’s just the surface.

Waris Dirie’s story is a reminder that there is more to all of us than our surface components – our wounds, our pain, our joy and our determination reside in a hidden place. What we decide to do about all of that surface/hidden stuff is our choice. Waris Dirie has gracefully overcome some seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her life, and her beauty is more than skin deep.

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Frankie and Alice

Review Date: 12-18-10

Release Date: 12-10-10 (LA), expands 2-4-11

Running Time: 102 min.

Period: 1957, 1973

Costume Designer: Ruth E. Carter

Frankie and Alice is a film based on a true story of Frankie Murdock, a woman with dissociative personality disorder (what many people call “multiple personalities”). It is an interesting film in that the actress playing Frankie (Halle Berry) plays three roles at once, and the costumes support her transition between them. Ms. Berry has been deservedly nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, and the film is worth seeing for her elegant and heart wrenching work.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Review Date: 1-5-10

Release Date: 12-23-09

Runtime: 88 min.

Period: Contemporary

Costume Designer: Alexandra Welker

Hollywood’s cheerful answer to the depressing “awards-season” fare is furry, cute and musically talented. The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon and Theodore) have been entertaining families for over half a century. Their irreverence, wit and sense of mischief have beguiled children and grown-ups of all ages. These Grammy-winning rodents have had platinum records and chart-topping hits. They are slam-dunk audience pleasers, and their latest oeuvre delivers even more charm in the form of the “Chipettes”, the female answers to Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

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