12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The ultimate glossy not glossed over,
This review is from: The September Issue [DVD]  (DVD)
A glossy magazine is a lot like a haute couture dress, the uninitiated wouldn't appreciate all that goes on underneath the effortless exterior and The September Issue goes quite a way to setting the record straight.
Although it is a horrible cliché to refer to it as the real Devil Wears Prada, that's actually not far from the truth although its focus is different. Instead of the editor and her hapless assistant this documentary looks more at the relationship between editor Anna Wintour and genius stylist Grace Coddington and how their minds work to piece together the massive September issue of US Vogue and it is truly fascinating.
Congratulations to the filmmakers who did not fall for one of the two obvious ways to approach its subject matter - either trying to satisfy all the myths about Wintour or being brought in to do PR showing her mooning over sick kiddies. Instead, they play it totally straight and the Vogue staff come across as knowledgeable, hard-working and creative. Credit goes to Wintour as well for not putting on any airs and graces, I strongly suspect that what you see here is what you get in real life and that is refreshing in itself.
The really interesting element to the film is that everyone else seems to add fuel to the fire of the Wintour myth. Designers are concave when they see her, businessmen are fawning over her, however it is Coddington (who started work on Vogue on the very same day as Wintour) who remarks to an underling that you have to stand up to Wintour or you won't get anywhere. And that is what it seems like to the viewer; you have nothing to fear if you understand the objective of the enterprise. It is the people who sit there cowed and do not fight their corner who come across the worst.
I was entranced by this film more as a portrait of a manager than anything else. I have worked with a series of inept managers and to see someone with a clear direction and with a motivated staff is inspiring and almost a curiosity to me. Anna Wintour may be unusual but she should, in fact, be the norm.