Stanford Mail

Celebrating the Resilience of Women in the Whirlwind of the Socialite Lifestyle

Queenmaker: The Making of an It Girl


Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 23m
Director(s): Zackary Drucker
Where To Watch: premieres on Hulu May 17, 2023

RAVING REVIEW: We're dialing back the clock to the early 2000s! You're about to be whisked into the shimmering world of New York's social elite in QUEENMAKER: THE MAKING OF AN IT GIRL, an interesting albeit slightly narrow view by Zackary Drucker. It’s more than its individual combined pieces; in the end, that’s what matters the most.

Imagine navigating a glittering labyrinth of intertwined narratives, each as engaging as the last. That's what you get here, a film that dives into the surface level of the lives of the women who ruled the Big Apple's social roost and the relentless rise of blog culture that catapulted them to stardom and contributed to their trials.

Enter Tinsley Mortimer, the shining example of an "It" girl. From organizing events to rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of society, her rise to fame was as fascinating as it was rapid. This film serves as the intoxicating cocktail of fame and the sobering chaser of downfall, showing us the cruel dance of blog culture that lifted these women only to let them crash down.

Anonymity was the secret ingredient that added a dash of intrigue to this era, with blogs like Socialite Rank stirring the cauldron and ranking the socialites. Yet not all bloggers wielded their pens like swords. The author of the Park Avenue Peerage blog saw beyond the glitz, revealing the raw human side of these socialites. Her journey brought her from the outside to the heart of the scene, unmasking the strengths and vulnerabilities of these women that were hidden beneath layers of perfection.

QUEENMAKER is an ode to the resilience of these women. It pulls back the curtain on their struggles and triumphs, showing us how they navigated the minefield of fame. The film isn't just a glittering montage of designer dresses and fancy parties; it's a testament to the tenacity and spirit of the women thrown into the whirlwind of the socialite lifestyle.

The film also gives voice to the bloggers whose words shaped these women's lives, showing us both the rise and fall brought on by blog culture. QUEENMAKER: THE MAKING OF AN IT GIRL also underscores the bloggers' influence in framing these narratives, showcasing the double-edged sword of their anonymous posts. These platforms were instrumental in their rise, but they also played a crucial part in their downfall, a harsh reality the film doesn't shy away from.

And while it might be a tale of sparkle and excess, QUEENMAKER doesn't skim over the inevitable fallout. It confronts the brutal reality of the blog culture that pushed these women to dizzying heights, only to knock them down with equal force. What QUEENMAKER does incredibly well is it humanizes these women, showing us they're more than just the glamorous socialites splashed across tabloid pages. Even the highest of the high, such as Paris Hilton, are brought down to a level that allows you to see that they’re still people on the inside.

QUEENMAKER: THE MAKING OF AN IT GIRL is much more than an excursion into the past; it's a celebration of the women who reigned supreme over New York's social scene in the early 2000s. It's a testament to their self-belief, determination, and courage to craft their identities amidst the pressures of fame. While I would have liked to have seen a more personal one on one with more of these icons, this was still a very entertaining journey for someone who didn’t follow this craze while it was happening, this was still a very entertaining journey.

So, folks, whether you're captivated by the intersection of celebrity culture and media influence, or you're just a sucker for powerful storytelling, QUEENMAKER: THE MAKING OF AN IT GIRL deserves a spot on your watch list. It's a compelling exploration of the past that doesn't back away from the hard truths. It's a tribute to the women who defied societal norms and charted their courses. It's a poignant reminder that there's always a story worth telling beneath the glitz and glamour. 

And that's a wrap!

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[photo courtesy of HULU]