In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.
Tony Leung Ka Fai,
In 1943, a young painter, Françoise Gilot (1921- ) meets Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), already the most celebrated artist in the world. For the next ten years, she is his mistress, bears him two children, is his muse, and paints within his element. She also learns slowly about the other women who have been or still are in his life: Dora Maar, Marie- Thérèse (whose daughter is Picasso's), and Olga Koklowa, each of whom seems deeply scarred by their life with Picasso. Gilot's response is to bring each into her relationship with Picasso. How does one survive Picasso? She keeps painting, and she keeps her good humor and her independence. When the time comes, she has the strength to leave. Written by
Magnificently crafted exploration of the question, how does a seeming despot generate such passion and devotion from the women around him. The high points are many but what makes the greatest mark is the flawless timing, throughout; then, of course, Hopkins completely lives the lead while McElhone preserves the central conundrum, the impossibility of the relationship(s). Forget the Picasso figure - apart from forming a setting and contributing the element of fame (I almost added "genius" but that's absolutely irrelevant, too), any similar figure would do, quite irrelevant to the point of the story which is to amplify the tension to be found in varying degrees in every one of our relationships. Extremely stimulating and provoking - not a must-see for 80s feminists.
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