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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 7 October 1998 (USA)
Biography of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook.

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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Isabel Rawsthorne
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Daniel Farson
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John Deakin
Annabel Brooks ...
Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbould ...
Blonde Billy (as Richard Newbold)
Ariel de Ravenel ...
French Official
Tallulah ...
Ian Board
Andy Linden ...
Ken Bidwell
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Joe Furneval
Gary Hume ...
Volker Dix
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Brighton Rent Boys
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Brighton Rent Boys
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Storyline

In the 1960s, British painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) surprises a burglar and invites him to share his bed. The burglar, a working class man named George Dyer, 30 years Bacon's junior, accepts. Bacon finds Dyer's amorality and innocence attractive, introducing him to his Soho pals. In their sex life, Dyer dominates, Bacon is the masochist. Dyer's bouts with depression, his drinking and pill popping, and his satanic nightmares strain the relationship, as does his pain with Bacon's casual infidelities. Bacon paints, talks with wit, and, as Dyer spins out of control, begins to find him tiresome. Could Bacon care less? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon.


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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£46,077 (UK) (18 September 1998)

Gross:

$343,023 (USA) (17 December 1999)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Malcolm McDowell was once interest for the part of Francis Bacon. See more »

Quotes

Francis Bacon: Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends.
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Connections

Referenced in Jubilee: A Time Less Golden (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It a Happy Day
Performed by The Ragamuffin Syncopators
Written by Erich Börschel (as E. Borschel)
courtesy Bosworth & Company Limited
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User Reviews

 
Dark and bizarre, like Bacon's world itself
24 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fearless, eerie film about the relationship between British painter Francis Bacon (Derek Jacobi) and his handsome, unsophisticated lover George Dyer (the new James Bond, Daniel Craig). The destructive affair is told from Bacon's and Dyer's perspectives with unsettling images strongly directed by John Maybury. Their story is somewhat like Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell's (told by Stephen Frears in "Prick Up Your Ears"), and the emotional bond between the intellectual artist and the rustic lover reminds me of Truman Capote and Perry Smith (coincidentally, Daniel Craig played Smith in "Infamous") - except that "Love is the Devil" is visceral, surreal and dark like Francis Bacon's world was, and Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Capote", a good, albeit overrated, film with a spectacular performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, was more concerned about being elegant and palatable than being closer to the truth. Bacon and Capote were talented, troubled men, with huge ego issues, who were partly responsible for their respective lover's (Dyer)/ protégé's/victim? (Smith) ruin - and, later, for their own.

Had John Maybury been like Bennett Miller and turned Bacon's life into an 'elegant' flick, we'd have an Oscar contender here; thankfully he did not, and we got a brave little film that is hard to watch because it's such a visceral painting of an unsettling world. Jacobi and Craig are phenomenal, and the always fantastic Tilda Swinton has a small part as one of Bacon's friends. Well done, Mr. Maybury. 8/10.


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