Sundance Review: The September Issue


Director:R.J. Cutler

Cast:Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington

Running Time:87.00


In 2006, Meryl Streep caused heads to turn by her performance as the most fierce and intimidating editor to ever grace the big screen in Fox's The Devil Wears Parada. The role, though fictional, sparked conversation all over the country as people wondered if fashion magazine editors were really so cruel and demanding. Now, in an effort to explain the fast-paced world that goes with fashion, R.J. Cutler brings forth the life of Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue magazine and inspiration for Streep's character.

For most, the year begins in January, but for Wintour and her elite ensemble of employees, the year doesn't begin until September. Capitalizing on that concept, as well as the ridiculous width of Vogue's magazines, Cutler presents an inside look into the rigorous schedules and constant work that goes into making the fashion world's bible, one photograph at a time, in his intense and cleverly created The September Issue.

At the center of the film is Anna Wintour. Clad with her stern look and ability to give an evil eye to anything that she finds distasteful, Wintour welcomes her role atop the fashion world, soaking up the moment for all that it is worth. Her tone, though not nearly as harsh as that of Streep, plays to a 'don't mess with me' attitude, letting those around her know that her time is valuable.

Yet, before walking into the theater, all this was to be expected. To run a huge corporation such as Vogue, the editor must be stern, enforcing structure and deadlines. So, as the film progressed, little peaked my interest - that is, until Grace Coddington made her first substantial appearance.

Carrying a confidence that rivals that of Anna, Grace immediately forces you to sit up and pay attention. Her tone and demeanor, though not intimidating, spark an interest, making you want to know more about her and her history within the fashion world. Yet it is her two-decade relationship with Anna that ultimately takes over the film, serving as its central component.

The move was unexpected, completely unforeseen. However, after seeing the film and witnessing the development of the angle and the followthrough of footage, I couldn't be more impressed.

As a result, the film reaches new heights, hitting the audience on a personal level as it showcases a relationship and the effects that it can have on the work environment. Passion is strong within the confines of the industry and tensions continuously run high. And although nothing could ever be as bad as Maranda Priestly (or so we hope), Anna Wintour is still a force to be reckoned with, just one that occasionally laughs and smiles when the time is right.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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