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Surviving Picasso (1996)

The passionate Merchant-Ivory drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life.

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Writers:

(book) (as Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kootz
Peter Eyre ...
Sabartes
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Marcel
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Marie-Thérèse
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Françoise's Father
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Jacqueline
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Françoise's Grandmother
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Maya
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only his passion for women could rival his passion for painting.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of nudity and brief sex-related language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ahavotav Shel Picasso  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$87,054 (USA) (20 September 1996)

Gross:

$2,002,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Hopkins is a close friend and frequent collaborator with director Richard Attenborough, who has his own extensive collection of Picasso prints. See more »

Quotes

Pablo Picasso: You've loved women even more than I have, but you haven't hated them at all.
Henri Matisse: I leave that to you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy - 1997 (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Difficult Man
11 June 2005 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

The movie is about Francoise Gilot, not about Picasso. It is not intended to tell Picasso's story. Picasso was brilliant, spectacular, the living center of the world of art and a sexual magnet. Women wanted him and, king that he was, Picasso viewed their adoration as no more than his due.

Francoise Gilot, a talented painter in her own right - but no Picasso - lives for ten years a life which for her is absolutely worth the pain. And when the pain is so grave that she will surely be overwhelmed, she stands up and leaves. The pain doesn't go away instantly, but it does go away, in time.

In one memorable scene, Gilot, at home with the baby, questions Picasso's absences, his obvious womanizing. He tells her in no uncertain terms that he will do as he chooses, that his life outside their home is none of her business. She has no right to question him. He doesn't say, "Take it or leave it," but that is the unmistakable message. She takes it, for a few more years, and another child.

It would be interesting to know whether Gilot, who was born in 1921 and is apparently still with us, harbors regret. I cannot imagine that she does. Of course she would have enjoyed that ten years better if Picasso had been able to love, in some recognizable way. But would she trade that life for one less magnificent? For one that would not be a good movie? Hardly.

The acting is of course perfect. Anthony Hopkins becomes the man Picasso. Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore and Susanna Harker tell us the truth. Well paced, finely directed, this movie tells a riveting story. It is very, very good.

It is perhaps worthy of note that many of the negative reviews of this movie are written by men. Picasso was not just difficult; he was a Difficult Man.


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