Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields



Two-Part Documentary
2023, 2x70 min parts




Brooke Shields, ’80s icon and household name, was a child model before she came to prominence in Louis Malle’s controversial film Pretty Baby at age 12. With a series of provocative Calvin Klein jeans ads and leading roles in 1980s teensploitation hits The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love, Shields’ early career was defined by a sexuality that she could neither claim nor comprehend.

In this two-part documentary, director Lana Wilson (Miss Americana, 2020 Sundance Film Festival) reveals Shields’ story through media appearances and archival footage, bringing full context to the time when Shields was coming of age in public. Wilson creates space for the adult Shields to share her intelligence, vulnerability, and humanity while reflecting on her career and life, including her complex relationship with her mother, Teri, her marriage to Andre Agassi, and her own struggles with motherhood. Honest and incisive, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields critiques a toxic culture and power structure that perpetuates misogyny and is complicit in the sexualization and objectification of young girls. But, above all, it tells the moving story of Brooke Shields discovering and embracing her own identity and agency. - Sundance Film Festival


CRITIC’S PICK. Absorbing…a biography of Shields with lucid insights into the culture that shaped her. Builds a mood of reminiscence gone rancid, and suggests a generation of women transformed by the prototypes society boxed them into.
Natalia Winkelman, The New York Times
Supremely well-crafted. A documentary of fascinating depth that holds our voyeuristic image culture up to the light. Lana Wilson's accomplished film traces how Brooke Shields' career was at the forefront of our culture's sexualization of girls, and shows what it was like for her to live a life inside that image.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone
Intimate and unflinching.
Katey Rich, Vanity Fair
The ultimately affirming story of a woman who took back her life.
Candice Frederick, The Huffington Post
Thoughtful and moving. At its heart, Pretty Baby is the story of the terrible toll that sexual and commercial objectification takes on women. Of how relentlessly young girls — especially those born fitting into our idea of beauty — can be seized upon, monetized, objectified and ground down. Of how female sexuality so easily turns into a transactional commodity. Ms. Shields's story is triumphant and moving.
Rhonda Garelick, The New York Times
Powerful and empowering, a portrait of a constantly transforming woman on the journey to finally understanding her identity.
Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast
Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader
An unflinching doc that charts a journey from victim to survivor.
Courtney Howard, The AV Club
Steven Prokoy, Third Coast Review
CERTIFIED FRESH. An exposé of ugly cultural forces, Pretty Baby is disturbing and triumphant in equal measure.
Rotten Tomatoes
Absorbing and relevant. A timely doc about Hollywood, hyper-sexualization, and a star's resilience.
Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter
Insightful, well-crafted, and inspirational.
Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times
Should be mandatory viewing for parents — or anyone — before they put a kid on camera.
Jessica Grose, The New York Times
Pretty Baby isn’t always pretty in chronicling everything that Shields endured, but in terms of placing a spotlight on the media excesses that surrounded and defined her rise to fame, it is, with the benefit of hindsight, pretty amazing indeed.
Brian Lowry, CNN
Examines not just Shields’s star persona, but the obsessive and damaging nature of stardom itself.
Lauren Humpries-Brooks, Citizen Dame
Honest and incisive, Pretty Baby critiques a toxic culture that perpetuates misogyny and is complicit in the sexualization and objectification of young girls.
Carla Renatta, The Curvy Film Critic
Makes it clear how much the young Shields was let down by an industry that too often saw her as a commodity instead of a human being.
Brian Tallerico,
A thoughtful examination of the way society objectifies and sexualizes girls and young women.
Lauren Coates, Culturess



Cinema Eye Honors 2024, Best Broadcast Editing


Primetime Emmy Awards 2024, Outstanding Directing For A Documentary/Nonfiction Program


Primetime Emmy Awards 2024, Outstanding Picture Editing For A Nonfiction Program


Cinema Eye Honors 2024, Best Broadcast Film


Critic's Choice Awards, Best Biographical Film