Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

The Woodmans

2010 1h 22m Documentary Biography List
95% Tomatometer 20 Reviews 74% Audience Score 500+ Ratings The tragic story of Francesca Woodman, a photographer renowned for her nude self-portraits, is also the story of her brilliantly artistic family. Director C. Scott Willis shows how the struggle for fame in the world of art resulted in tragedy. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (20) Critics Reviews
Joe Neumaier New York Daily News This intimate film is a fascinating glimpse into the emotions and art of a New York family whose bright star committed suicide 30 years ago at age 22. Rated: 3/4 Apr 12, 2016 Full Review Walter V. Addiego San Francisco Chronicle It's impossible to listen to Francesca's parents, deadly serious about art as a higher calling, without feeling both saddened and disturbed. Rated: 3/4 Nov 17, 2011 Full Review Ann Hornaday Washington Post The Woodmans tells the compelling, if slightly disturbing, story of a family coming to grips with love, ego, resentment and loss. Rated: 3.5/4 Jul 28, 2011 Full Review Kathy Fennessy Seattle Film Blog Francesa Woodman died believing she was unique, and she was. Rated: 3.5/4 Sep 15, 2021 Full Review Jim Slotek Jam! Movies By the time it ends, however, it has applied enough fine brush strokes to create a subtle and vaguely disturbing portrait of a dysfunctional family of artists. Rated: 3.5/5 Sep 23, 2011 Full Review Armond White New York Press Willis' careful balancing act between portraying a unique family unit and the peculiarities of genius winds up making The Woodmans disturbing in an unexpected way. Jan 26, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (21) audience reviews
Audience Member A dull, overlong, and ultimately dissatisfying documentary completely ill-fitting for its remarkable subject matter: a true visionary artist. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Fascinating and disturbing. These are not necessarily people one will relate to, as they freely admit. But they are people who will at least interest you. And the art is wonderful. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member A documentary that every lover of photography should see. The Woodmans, a family of American artists, were marked by the suicide of Francesca Woodman, the young daughter, in the early 1980s. The film reveals the genius of Francesca's work, a photographer ahead to her time that was at the same time her own model and subject. The film is also a character study. It tries to reveal Francesca's fragile and vulnerable personality, but also to analyse what makes her photographs so mysterious, enigmatic, surreal, fantastic, and if they help us to discover what lay inside her mind and soul. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review Audience Member emotive tale of the life and death of an immensely passionate soul through the eyes of her family and art Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member I saw a short excerpt of the documentary on PBS recently, by chance, and was deeply affected by the disturbing art of Francesca Woodman. It is so disturbing I am still for three weeks now affected by it. I had a few nightmares too. I don't know how can her images and self-portraits be so haunting, but its kinda ruining my Christmas season. I wish I'd never seen this documentary about her or Woodmans. Very unhealthy stuff!!!! I hope I get over the impressions and messages in her work soon!!! Don't even wanna comment her parents. The film is done well. I just wish I'd never seen it. I don't watch horror movies on purpose, and this caught me by surprise, it is scarier to me than any horror movie I've ever seen. I don't know why her imagery affects me so, but it does. :( Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review walter m There are two ways this documentary could have functioned well enough to actually be intriguing: A) Make it solely about Betty and George Woodman, husband and wife octogenarian artists, while briefly mentioning the suicide of their daughter Francesca, also an artist, as a past tragedy. Granted this version has less nudity but still... B) Make it solely about Francesca while getting brief testimony from her parents. Because combining them into two movies does not work. On the one hand, Francesca's ghost continues to overwhelm any work her parents continue to do in the present day. That is while the documentary manages to gleam some insights when talking to Francesca's friends and acquaintances but hits a brick wall when talking to her parents since all parents usually know less about their child when she becomes an adult and leaves home which is especially true in this case. And that's not to mention the film being that much less interesting when the focus is on Betty and George, to be honest. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Woodmans

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis The tragic story of Francesca Woodman, a photographer renowned for her nude self-portraits, is also the story of her brilliantly artistic family. Director C. Scott Willis shows how the struggle for fame in the world of art resulted in tragedy.
Scott Willis
Jeff Werner, Scott Willis, Neil Barrett
Production Co
C. Scott Films, ITVS (Independent Television S
Documentary, Biography
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 1, 2016
Box Office (Gross USA)
1h 22m