Surviving Picasso

Surviving is right: The script leans heavily on Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington's Picasso: Creator and Destroyer -- the biography reviewers likened to a trashy novel -- but this movie is a dreary endurance test. It's hard not to wish classy smutmeister Zalman King had been at the helm, instead of the deferential, decorous James Ivory. Ivory bleeds the...read more

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Surviving is right: The script leans heavily on Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington's Picasso: Creator and Destroyer -- the biography reviewers likened to a trashy novel -- but this movie is a dreary endurance test. It's hard not to wish

classy smutmeister Zalman King had been at the helm, instead of the deferential, decorous James Ivory. Ivory bleeds the life right out of such riotously sordid scenes as the one in which two mistresses (Susannah Harker and Julianne Moore) fight tooth and nail over Picasso (Anthony Hopkins) while

he blithely works on Guernica. As Francoise (Gilot, though her surname is never mentioned), newcomer Natascha McElhone -- who bears a sometimes striking resemblance to Gilot's daughter, Paloma Picasso -- does her best to give her character depth, but she's at the mercy of Hopkins'

scene-stealing histrionics. The movie purports to revolve around Francoise, who loved the aging Picasso, bore him two children and eventually left him to strike out on her own. In fact, Picasso would have loved it, because it's all about him: His childlike joie de vivre, his

tantrums, his relationships with art dealers, sycophants, other painters and -- most of all -- his shabby treatment of the women who hurl themselves at him in every cafe, studio and alley.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Surviving is right: The script leans heavily on Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington's Picasso: Creator and Destroyer -- the biography reviewers likened to a trashy novel -- but this movie is a dreary endurance test. It's hard not to wish classy smutmeister… (more)

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