An interpretation of the life of acclaimed American painter Jackson Pollock (Ed Harris), beginning in 1941 when he was a struggling and unknown artist, through his subsequent rise to fame and encounter - and later marriage to - fellow artist and main supporter/ fan/ aide/ wife/ lover Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden) to his death in a car smash in 1956.
 

4.5
A film about the life and career of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.

When the Australian National Gallery bought Jackson Pollock`s Blue Poles for $1.3 million in 1973 some people were outraged at the extravagance. It wasn`t a dud investment at all because, although it`s never been tested in the market, it`s thought to now be worth over $50 million. Who was this man, this artist, Jackson Pollock?.....The story of this troubled man played by Ed Harris begins in the early 1940`s when he`s living and painting in Greenwich Village. Significant in his life was fellow artist Lee Krasner, Marcia Gay Harden, whom he eventually married, who believed in his talent and supported him, Peggy Guggenheim, played by Harris` wife Amy Madigan, an artistic talent spotter of major proportions who became his patron, and alcohol which became his nemesis. Pollock as portrayed in this film is a man torn between self-doubt and an ego-maniacal self-belief, there is no doubt he suffered from a debilitating mental illness. But the physicality and sensibility of his talent was unquestionable, his commitment to art total. Harris both stars in and directs this unsentimental portrait of the artist and he brings a perfect physicality and a stunning discipline to the role and to the film. It`s thrilling to see the beginnings of Pollock`s drip paintings, it`s anguishing to see his tendency to self-destruct, shocking to see the ugliness. Both Ed Harris, who looks incredibly like Pollock, and Marcia Gay Harden give the performances of their careers. And it`s fun to see as part of the art crowd of New York at that time Val Kilmer as Willem DeKooning. The film never flinches from it`s commitment to the artist, I think this is a wonderfully successful debut for Ed Harris, director. Comments from David StrattonTwo hours in the company of a really unpleasant character was hard going for me. Whatever you think of Pollock`s talents as an artist - and the scenes in which he `creates` are the best in the film - he seems to have been an appalling person, and I suppose Ed Harris deserves some credit for showing him, warts and all. But I loathed Pollock the man, I`m indifferent to his art, and consequently the film was difficult to endure.