Review by Ross Anthony

Ed Harris paints a striking portrait of this talented artist/butt-hole. A docu-drama (with the accent on drama), "Pollock" follows the ten last years of the life of American abstract artist Jackson Pollock who died in 1956.

It's a story of splashing paint, sobering love, anger, self-doubt and spilt and broken liquor Pollockbottles. Filmed in one strong arch-like stroke that peaks in the middle then splatters off the canvas in an untimely manner, the production, like Pollock's life, feels truncated and unfulfilled.

Paced well, aside from a laboriously slow introduction, Harris is intoxicating. Marcia Gay Harden, as his lover, endless supporter, is as steadfast as a whipping post. It's great to see Bud Cort again (Harold and Maude) though his bright-eyed smile too soon leaves the screen. Kilmer's brief appearance adds little.

I loved the artistic moments of creation. Harris staring at his shadow on a huge white canvas Pollock(so huge he knocked down a wall in his apartment to erect it). Harris finally finds inspiration to contrast his stillness with sharp confident motion pulling the emotions from his chest to the end of his brush. Simply awesome, simply beautiful.

When asked, "How do you know you're finished with a painting?"
Pollock replies with a question, "How do you know when you're finished making love?"

But more often than not, this portrayal captures a bottle at the end of his arm, not a paintbrush. And an unforgivably belligerent mood, that rushes like red pigment into the lives of those around him.

Probably an excellent depiction ... if so, Jackson seems a man, I'd have not enjoyed getting to know. Hence, this intimate movie ... of me will not a friend make.

  • Pollock. Copyright © 2000.
  • Starring Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden, Amy Madigan, Jennifer Connelly, Jeffrey Tambor, Bud Cort, John Heard, Val Kilmer, Stephanie Seymour, Tom bower, Robert Knot, Matthew Sussman, Sada Thompson.
  • Directed by Ed Harris.
  • Written by Barbara Turner, Susan J. Emshwiller.
  • Produced by Fred Berner, Ed Harris, Jon Kilik a Sony Classics Release(C)2000. Rated R.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:00:41 PDT