Biography / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.0


Downloaded 1958 times
6/9/2017 2:12:06 AM

23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
122 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Alvy_Singer73

Films like &quot;Pollock&quot; always leave me at a loss when I have todescribe them to others. For one thing, it's long been a labor oflove for director / star Ed Harris, which maybe causes me to havemore sympathy for the picture than I should -- after all, I'd hate toream a project that he's spent so much time and energydeveloping. For another thing, I usually find biopics a bit crippledbecause, in most cases (&quot;Pollock&quot; included), I already know theplot, and without the plot to get lost in, I'm left to look at littlethingslike, you know, the acting, writing and directing. Lucky for Harris(and my conscience), then, that the acting is uniformly great, thedirection is mostly seamless (and downright kinetic at times), andthe writing, while not being great in the &quot;Casablanca&quot; sense of theword, serves the story well. &quot;Pollock&quot; dodges all the pitfalls thatoften turn biopics into boring history lessons.<br><br>The film picks up with Jackson Pollock the Unsuccessful Drunk(Harris), dabbling in surrealist painting and proclaiming Picassoto be a fraud. There's enough promise in his work, though, for himto gain a girlfriend, Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden); abenefactor, Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan); and aprofessional critic, Clement Greenberg (Jeffrey Tambor), whochampions his work in print. From there we watch Pollock take theexpress train to art world superstardom, becoming one of theworld's foremost abstract painters.<br><br>The fly in the ointment, though, is Pollock's notorious temper,aided and abetted by his equally notorious alcoholism. Life inNew York City is doing his personal life no favors, so he andKrasner move to the countryside, and it's here that he stumblesupon his &quot;drip method&quot; of painting, granting him another wave offame and recognition. It is this sequence, in which Pollock makeshis pivotal discovery, where Harris's talent as a director comes tothe fore. Although we're aware that we're watching an actorperform a discovery that was made by someone else more thanfifty years ago, it's an exciting, dynamic moment as Harris dancesaround his canvas, flicking paint from his brush in a blur of motion.It doesn't come off as staged or phony, but as a moment ofgenuine discovery, and for those moments we might as wellactually be watching Jackson Pollock revolutionize the artworld.<br><br>From there, though, ego, alcohol, and the mechanics of change allprove to be Pollock's undoing, leading, of course, to his untimelydemise. Through it all, Harris seethes with a feral intensity, givinga performance that should rightfully win him an Oscar (and checkout the dramatic weight gain at the end. Tom who?). Harden, hisco-nominee, is also excellent (although she's stuck uttering lineslike, &quot;You've done it, Pollock. You've cracked it wide open.&quot;). Inlesser hands, Krasner could be just another version of thescreeching, wailing, put-upon wife, but Harden bolsters theanguish with a fine layer of anger; the torment of a woman wholoves the person causing her misery, but who is unwilling to let goof the principles which led her to enter and maintain therelationship on her own terms.<br><br>&quot;Pollock&quot; ultimately succeeds because we know how it will end,we clearly see how unpleasant and deluded the artist hadbecome, and still we can't look away. Harris's labor of love servesas an auspicious debut for someone who, at this stage, seemsjust as skilled behind the camera as he is in front ofit.

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Reviewed by L8nDA ([email protected]) 10/10

Ed Harris has taken the biopic to a new level. Although the skeleton of thefilm is no more than the troubled life of an alcoholic struggling with fame,the power of the acting and sequence of the film take it a step further.The relationship between Krasner and Pollock mirrors that of Stanley andStella Kowalski but Krasner is a much stronger character and Marcia GayHarden more than deserved the oscar she received for the part. The only partthat concerned me was the explanation Harris chose to show Pollock'sprogression to his drip paintings. The arbitrariness of the &quot;revelation&quot;seems stretched to me and suggests that it is actually known how Pollockmade that movement. All in all, the movie is excellent and worth seeing.<br><br>Just be careful - I cringed every time he got into a car...

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Reviewed by ThurstonHunger 7/10

I think it is very hard in general to make a &quot;based on a truestory&quot;sort of film, that alone can clamp a pretty heavy anchor toyourankles. Moreso when that true story is one that means a lot toyouas Ed Harris has said about Jackson Pollock's biography.<br><br>Based upon those precepts, I feel Harris succeeded, howeverI cannot say this film is an unqualified success. It issprawling,but unlike Pollock...for cinema circulation, Harris could notstretchhis canvas so wide. He gets over two hours here...but Isuspecthe could have filled six easily.<br><br>Based upon early buzz when this came out, including thesnippetshown at the Oscars for Marcia Gay Harden, I had trepidationthatthis would be reduced to a shout and spittle film; that therageand angst of Pollock and Krasner would be the story. Certainlythis is one aspect presented, but not the sole one.<br><br>Interestingly to me, it seemed that the more halcyon Pollock'slife was, the better his exploration of his art. I went inexpectingthat alcohol-oiled turmoil would be presented as the keytocomplicated creation. An artist must suffer and so on.<br><br>This shows that while I was familiar with Pollock, I was notthatfamiliar. I could recognize his later chaotic, laced anddrippedpaintings...but I did not know anything about his personallife.<br><br>But in the course of two hours, I did enjoy...<br><br>1) Seeing a progression in Pollock's paintings. I had notseenmany of his earlier works that had more blocks to them,thatwere more easily seen as assemblages of images. The waythese were filmed, in the act of creation was well donehere.Same is true for the latter works. <br><br> 2) The importance of Pollock's family. I loved seeing hisMothercome to the openings. I did not know that two other brothersalso painted; Sande alone seems to understand Jackson'stalent and torment. Their relationship could have made afilmof its own. <br><br>3) Jeffrey Tambor's portrayal of Clem, a critic/king-maker ofsorts.Us posters here, run the risk of being posers as well.AndI think the best of us realize how subjective our commentsare,a function of when we watch films, and who we are with, orhowwe are feeling as much as the films themselves. <br><br>4) Following on that notion, to me one thread of &quot;Pollock&quot; ishowthe circle of critics destroys artists with either persecutionorpraise. It is not a revelation, that much art is highlypersonal,both for the purveyor, but painfully so for the artists. Notarevelation, but still worth repeating... <br><br>When we see Pollock &quot;drunk&quot; on his ascent, reading fromanItalian magazine during a family reunion, that really got tome.Maybe that was more dangerous than alcohol. Even if thatcritical acceptance is not essential, eating is. Anotherthreadalluded to in this film, how to &quot;work&quot; and to live as anartist.<br><br>That scene also drove home the obsessive nature of beinganartist, how it is hard at the same time to be a brother, oruncle,husband or perhaps impossible to be a father. Thus thatobsession helps to contrast Sande and Jackson, and certainlysets up the power of Marcia Gay Harden's performance. Krasner too is an artist, who has had some success. Sheretains her name, and her dreams, but fully embraces Pollock,and Pollock's artwork. Her support of him, while aware ofherlimits, was presented without martyring her. She was not asaintwandering into Pollock's hell. <br><br>5) Talking to an artist about his/her obsession is problematic.They are already communicating in their chosen medium,andpresumably they are communicating that way as it is easierthan using words. I thought the interview with Life magazineinthis film, and Pollock's notion of viewing his art as one viewsafield of flowers helped me. Maybe that was obvious to others,I think that way in music/sound...but in art too often I amhuntingfor images, for mirrors to our world.<br><br>The radio interview that Pollock conducted, halting andawkwardcould have underscored the travails of talking about art, oritseemed like he was trying to read from a manifesto of sorts(perhaps in real life one exists). Finally, the documentaryfilm is painted as an undoing of Pollock. Fascinating asweourselves are watching a film about Pollock. It's as if EdHarristhe actor in character could be talking to Ed Harris thefilmauteur.<br><br>The documentary film was to Pollock, what a zoo can beto a wild animal. The habitat corrupts the inhabitant.HowPollock puts on his shoes, when he's done painting, allcontrolis lost...the private process made public, is made impure.<br><br>No, that's not the point to this film. If you are looking for afilmwith one tidy point, go elsewhere. But for an abridgedbutadmirable biopic on Jackson Pollock, with many tangledand tantalizing threads...this is one to rent. And now abookfor me to read. Rarely do I watch the deleted scenes andwish they had been in the film, as I did in this case.<br><br>There was a great shot early in the film where Pollock ispacingbefore the mural commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim. Fromthe plot, we know he's worried about looms before him,andwe get eerie shots of his shadow projected on the emptycanvasto reinforce that. Harris too may have felt this was anominousundertaking, I hope he pleased himself as he did me.<br><br>7/10

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