Parents' Guide to

Velvet Goldmine

By Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Edgy glam rock drama has sex, drugs, strong language.

Movie R 1998 118 minutes
Velvet Goldmine Poster Image

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Part musical, part mystery, and part love story -- or stories, to be more precise -- this 1998 release is a visual and aural feast. It's packed full of cultural references, compelling characters, and identity-boosting messages. But unfortunately, when packaged all together, Velvet Goldmine somehow fails to hit the mark. Ranging from otherworldly and intriguing to downright confusing, the story flips back and forth between eras and characters, never quite giving you time to fully invest in any of them.

Unashamedly inspired by David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust era, it's bursting with extravagant artistic expression. The soundtrack is a brilliant combination of original songs and 1970s classics, while the fashion and staging is gloriously psychedelic. And though many of the characters are joyously flamboyant and confident in their gender fluidity, the story doesn't shy away from the challenges of being different and the darker side of the music industry. Ultimately, among the sometimes bewildering mashup of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, there are some genuinely tender moments and an overarching celebration of diversity.

Movie Details

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