MODIGLIANI Add To My Top 10

Depressing Dream

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 13, 2005

Starring: Andy Garcia, Elsa Zylberstein, Hippolyte Girardot, Omid Djalili, and Eva Herzigova

Genre: Historical Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 128 minutes

Address Comments To:

Mark Borde, President
Innovation Film Group (IFG)
506 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 210
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 656-6333
Fax: (310) 394-6333
Website: www.innovationfilmgroup.com
Email: mark@innovationfilmgroup.com

Content:

(RoRo, C, Ab, L, VV, SS, NNN, AAA, DDD, MM) Romantic Worldview condoning suicide with a few positive references to the Church and some negative portrayals of fathers; nine obscenities and references to illegitimate children as well as “Jew” used as a curse; several people shoot at others and miss, one man thrashing in a straight jacket in an insane asylum, man beaten bloody by robbers, man jumps into a river, and woman commits suicide falling from window sill; sex outside of marriage several times though nothing displayed, kissing and sexual references, including homosexual birthday party with homosexuals in transvestite dress; frequent nude paintings and women in skimpy outfits, and man's rear end featured in birthday cake; alcohol in excess; constant smoking and drugs in excess, including opium, hash and cocaine; and, cruelty, lying and racism.

Summary:

MODIGLIANI was evidently the last word on the lips of Picasso, and this movie catapults off the name of Modigliani to show a vicious competition between the two great painters in the year 1919. There are moments of brilliance in this movie, but too much of it is staged and strained and most of the casting is inadequate.

Review:

MODIGLIANI was evidently the last word on the lips of Picasso, and this movie catapults off the name of Modigliani to show a vicious competition between the two great painters in the year 1919. The competition is intensified by Modigliani's affair with a middle class woman named Jeanne who will do anything to help him, including give up their baby and perhaps seduce Picasso. The former occurs, but not the latter.

The movie opens, however, with the woman Jeanne saying that love led her to follow Modigliani into Hell. Modigliani meets Jeanne in an art class. He mesmerizes her and she ends up pregnant. Jeanne's father wants nothing to do with the Jewish Modigliani or the bastard child. Yet, Jeanne chooses Modigliani over her father and her child. Her mother, however, tries to act as a bridge between the two parties. When the father takes the baby up to an orphanage, the mother steals the baby back for Jeanne.

Meanwhile, Modigliani's greatest joy in life is making a fool of Picasso, much to Picasso's chagrin. Eventually, Picasso bails Modigliani out of jail (after having been caught in an opium den), and they start to move toward an uneasy truce. When they both enter a formal art competition, Jeanne becomes Modigliani's muse, and Modigliani becomes Picasso's muse. The highly symbolist movie reaches a climax in five successive endings.

There are moments of brilliance in this movie, but too much of it is staged and strained. Andy Garcia is too soft to be the mad, passionate Modigliani, and most of the casting is similarly inadequate. The storyline meanders and has an excessive romantic infatuation with art for arts sake. Thus, morality and common sense take a back seat to art.

There is a strange moment in the movie when the aging Renoir seems to indicate that Art is the ticket to wealth, and Picasso reaffirms this. Most Romantics would eschew this nod to capitalism.

That said, the camera work is beautiful, and the music is superb at a few points. This could have been a more compelling movie with some editing and a lot of focus on the story the filmmaker wanted to tell. As it is, it is mediocre.

If you like movies about art, try Orson Wells' great movie F FOR FAKE instead.

In Brief:

MODIGLIANI was evidently the last word on the lips of Picasso, and this movie catapults off the name of Modigliani to show a vicious competition between the two painters in the year 1919. The competition is intensified by Modigliani's affair with a woman named Jeanne who will do anything to help him, including give up their baby and perhaps seduce Picasso. The former occurs, but not the latter. When both Modigliani and Picasso enter a formal art competition, Jeanne becomes Modigliani's muse, and Modigliani becomes Picasso's muse.

There are moments of brilliance in this movie, but too much of it is staged and strained. Andy Garcia is too soft to be the mad, passionate Modigliani, and most of the casting is similarly inadequate. The storyline meanders and has an excessive romantic infatuation with art for arts sake. Thus, morality and common sense take a back seat to art. That said, the camera work is beautiful, and the music is superb at a few points. This could have been a more compelling movie with some editing and more focus on the story the filmmaker wanted to tell. As it is, it is mediocre.