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Review: 'A Man's Story' is just window dressing

The documentary about fashion designer Ozwald Boateng fails to let us see the man beneath the style.

November 01, 2012|By Robert Abele
  • Fashion designer Ozwald Boateng.
Fashion designer Ozwald Boateng. (Trinity Film )

London-born fashion designer Ozwald Boateng was made for cameras: his sleek frame, piercing good looks and vibrant personality make him his own best model for the dashingly colorful and classically cut mens' wear that has earned him his haute-couture status.

It's not surprising, then, that Varon Bonicos' documentary "A Man's Story" — filmed over a period of 12 years — feeds off Boateng's energetic, charming manner as he darts around the globe putting on multimedia fashion shows, extending his brand and obsessing about work to the detriment of his marriage to the beautiful Russian model who bore his two children.

As a flashy, country-hopping ridealong with a style icon, it will appeal to fashionistas, but you won't learn much about the high-end world of clothing design beyond its ability to stretch someone's schedule to the breaking point, and land that someone a gig outfitting Jamie Foxx and Will Smith.

This is hardly a probing work, with background information practically nil — his Ghana-born parents are brief flashes without identifying names, whereas every jaunt to Paris gets the onscreen tag "Paris."

"A Man's Story" is form over function in almost every way.

"A Man's Story." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.

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