For years in the early 1990s Michelle Pfeiffer was attached to her own Georgia O'Keefe project with her then production company Via Rose Productions. See more »
Part of this movie was filmed at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. When Georgia walks out of the house in the morning she is barefoot. This would never happen in real life due to scorpions, fire ants, Cholla cactus thorns, tumbleweed thorns, and a plant called goat's-head weed. This plant has woody thorns that give the plant its nickname of puncturevine. See more »
Before seeing this movie, whenever I thought of Georgia O'Keefe I pictured this older woman in a studio in Santa Fe painting flowers and stunning landscapes. This movie finally got to my stereotypical image but it filled in details of O'Keefe's rich, varied, long life along the way.
O'Keefe's work had attracted the attention of famed photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz who exhibited some of her work in New York in 1916. A couple of years later O'Keefe moved to New York and the professional relationship with Stieglitz, who was over twenty years older than her, ultimately turned into a personal one resulting in marriage in 1924.
I always have some reservations about how truthful a biographical picture is, particularly in a case like this where, at the time the screenplay was written, O'Keefe had been dead for over twenty years and most of the people in her life had been dead for upward of fifty years. For example, what are we to take away from the scene about the argument that O'Keefe had with Stieglitz regarding her wanting a child and his blunt refusal? Is that pure speculation? Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I assume the general sweep of her life as presented is accurate, and indeed reading the Wikipedia entry for O'Keefe seems to bear this out. For movies based on a true story I often ask myself why not just read the appropriate Wikipedia entry and skip the movie. But, if properly done, it is easier to get involved in a movie and come away with more lasting impressions. It is often the case that a good movie based on a true story, as this one, will prompt me to do some independent research. There is no lack of O'Keefe biographies, video, and art books out there.
In looking at some of the images of O'Keefe, Stieglitz, and Mabel Dodge, the actors playing those parts (Joan Allen, Jeremy Irons, and Tyne Daly) are well cast as to physical appearance and all do good work.
I wish more of O'Keefe's paintings had been tightly woven into the story.
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