The passionate Merchant Ivory drama tells the story of Françoise Gilot (Natascha McElhone), the only lover of Pablo Picasso (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty, and move on with her life.
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Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
In 1943, a young painter, Françoise Gilot (1921- ) (Natascha McElhone) meets Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) (Sir Anthony Hopkins), 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 (Julianne Moore), Marie-Thérèse (Susannah Harker) (whose daughter is Picasso's), and Olga Koklowa (Jane Lapotaire), 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
A few years after this movie, Sir Anthony Hopkins had already signed on to play Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal (2001), but Jodie Foster had declined. When Director Ridley Scott let Hopkins know what actresses were being considered to play Clarice, Hopkins remembered how much he enjoyed working with Julianne Moore on this movie, and recommended her. See more »
He's useless. Nothing but drink and girls. Just like his father.
I don't drink.
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Surviving this movie!(Drink to me ,drink to my health,you know I can't drink anymore!)
Anthony Hopkins is a very gifted actor,nobody can deny,but ,he was beginning to do any job going:playing Hannibal,Nixon and Picasso,it's much ,too much !Besides,James Ivory 's majestic talent ("Howards end" "remains of the day" "A room with the view" "Maurice") had inexorably waned."Jefferson in Paris" was already unsatisfying,smug and overblown.Still,it was entertaining."Surviving Picasso' is not.Only five minutes -let's be generous- are given over to the process of creation.The essential revolves around Picasso's relationship with women;this is neither rewarding nor entertaining,being trite,hollow and devoid of emotion , violence or/and tenderness.
Word to the wise:people interested in Picasso's art -which is more interesting than his private life!who cares?- should try to see Henri-Georges Clouzot 's "le mystère Picasso" (1956):Unlike Ivory,Clouzot films the REAL Picasso while he is creating.He paints on a sheet of glass and we can follow every lick of paint.
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