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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
Merchant Ivory Productions faced strong objections from Francoise Gilot and her son, Claude, when making this film. Claude Picasso met once with the Merchant-Ivory team but then strongly objected to the making of the film, petitioning the studio to stop production. Gilot had written her story in the book "Life with Picasso" in 1964, which Picasso had tried to stop from being published; the filmmakers were unable to acquire the rights. Instead they used Arianna Huffington's "Picasso: Creator and Destroyer" as the basis for Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's script. See more »
From the title, you would think that this was a story of terrible abuse and torture. In reality, the heroine has a pretty nice life with Picasso. No real abuse - the dude could be a pain, selfish, and insensitive, but who isn't? Picasso was kind to his other 'families,' and sure, he kept other women around, but if I was Picasso, I would too. If my wife didn't like it, she could just leave. I'm Picasso, I can do whatever I want.
The movie was well acted but the story was boring. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen but it didn't. It was well filmed, locations were okay. There should have been more nudity because I'm sure the real Picasso had a studio full of lovely naked girls. That would have made the movie more interesting.
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