pollock

Jackson Pollock was a trailblazing painter. He was also an alcoholic, a manic-depressive and completely out of control. Truth of the matter is, though, there are a lot of brilliant, self-destructive people in the world. What the movie Pollock has to do… and ultimately fails to do… is make us believe there is a reason that we should be more interested in him than all the other brilliant self-destructive people in the world.
Yes, his painting was revolutionary, but we can see that in a museum, why should we have to sit through this movie? Pollock doesn't even have faith in it's source material. Other characters are constantly telling him (and by extension, the audience) how brilliant and revolutionary his art was — when the paintings themselves should do the talking.
Ed Harris (who also directed) does an incredible job of portraying Pollock, but in the end Jackson Pollock was an unlikable, selfish, chronically insecure man — which makes it real tough to care about the centerpiece of your story. Marcia Gay Harden also does well with the essentially thankless role of his wife Lee Krasner, another artist who gave up her career to manage his, and to put up with his whims and foul moods.
Fine performances by the likes of Jennifer Connelly, Jeffrey Tambor, Stephanie Seymour and Amy Madigan are also pretty much wasted, all they really get to do is stroke Pollock's ego, then look away in embarrassment when he flies off the handle and does something anti-social. Jackson Pollock's art may have been unique, but his life story seems to have been pretty standard fare. (12/00)

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