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Ed Harris's POLLOCK is a moving portrait of artist Jackson Pollock, a leader of abstract expressionist painting whose work had major influence on the modern art movement. A serious alcoholic who was married to Lee Krasner, another prominent painter, the film illustrates Pollock's rise to art world fame in the last 15 years of his life, and his subsequent surrender to the bottle which brought his death in 1956. In its best moments, POLLOCK shows Krasner (a strong, dynamic, and fascinating Marcia Gay Harden) and Pollock (a stern Harris) conversing about the progression of the modern movement while criticizing each other's work from their adjoining studios in a tiny apartment in Manhattan's East Village. Other highlights of the film include a handful of high energy painting sequences that demonstrate Pollock's technique--the fluid straight-from-tube strokes of his earlier work and the more radical throwing, drizzling, and splattering of paint from the brush to the canvas in his later works; along with amusing depictions of the New York and Long Island art worlds with Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan), Clement Greenberg (Jeffrey Tambor), Willem de Kooning (Val Kilmer), and Howard Putzel (Bud Cort) in the major roles. Based on the biography JACKSON POLLOCK: AN AMERICAN SAGA by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the film has an uplifting musical score and a soundtrack that includes some of Pollock's favorite jazz-blues tunes, both of which are welcome counterpoints to the movie's darker moments.
2000 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress Winner
Ed Harris - American Actor/Director
Jeffrey Tambor - American film & TV actor
Sada Thompson - American Film/TV Actress
John Heard - American actor, HOME ALONE (1990)
Jennifer Connelly - Oscar-winning American actress, A BEAUTIFUL MIND
Norbert Weisser - Actor/"Android"
Amy Madigan - American Actress
Tom Bower - American Supporting Actor
Bud Cort - Actor/"Harold & Maude"
Walter Edward Cox - Actor/"Harold & Maude"
Marcia Gay Harden - Oscar winning american actress, POLLOCK
Val Kilmer - American Actor
Barbara Turner - Screenwriter/Producer
Steven Naifeh - biographer
Theatrical release: December 15, 2000 (limited)/February 2001 (expanded) Peggy Guggenheim gave Jackson Pollock a pention beginning in 1943. His first solo exhibition was staged later that year at her Art of the Century gallery. Pollock was represented by Betty Parsons Gallery, which, in 1948, hosted the groundbreaking first exhibition of Pollock's radical drip paintings. In 1949, Life magazine published a feature story on Pollock, which introduced his work--and the idea of abstract art--to an enormous readership and brought him almost instant fame. The film was based on JACKSON POLLOCK: AN AMERICAN SAGA by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991. Ed Harris and Amy Madigan are an offscreen married couple. Harris gained 30 pounds to play Pollock near the end of his life. Roger Ebert (EBERT AND ROEPER AND THE MOVIES) named POLLOCK one of the 10 best films of 2000. The New York Film Critics Circle awarded Marcia Gay Harden Best Actress for her portrayal of Lee Krasner.
"...[Harris] seems as natural playing the abstract-expressionist superstar as he did playing John Glenn in THE RIGHT STUFF..." - 12/15/2000 USA Today, p.8E
"...POLLOCK is beautifully shot....There is a nice cameo by Jeffrey Tambor..." - 11/01/2000 Box Office, p.162
"...Moments of visceral, sensual beauty....Amy Madigan is tart and vivid..." - 01/01/2001 Film Comment, p.72
"...Ed Harris has always been a great actor in search of a role that could match his haunted intensity, and in POLLOCK, which he directed and stars in, he finds it..." - 02/23/2001 Entertainment Weekly, p.135
"...Harris brings an energy to [the] action-painting scenes that is pure and exhilarating....This is a towering performance of bruising inspiration..." - 03/01/2001 Rolling Stone, p.56-7
"...Harris' film describes a confrontation between genius and human frailty....It tracks a mythology of creativity which runs from Caravaggio to Patti Smith, and is still running, unended..." - 06/01/2002 Sight and Sound, p.48
"...Harden's performance conveys the guts and heart of the drama....You'll be drained, enthralled and maybe even a little inspired..." - 06/01/2002 Total Film, p.103
"...Ed Harris' film is as successful as it is because it passionately follows the artist's lead..." - 12/15/2000 Los Angeles Times, p.C6
"...It contains all of the hum and buzz of the postwar New York art world....POLLOCK is confident, insightful work -- one of the year's best films..." - 02/16/2001 Chicago Sun-Times, p.37
"Its huge strength is the central performance. Pollock was the quintessential Action Painter, so it seems fitting that Mr. Harris athleticizes the process, rather than aestheticizes it." - 03/06/2014 Wall Street Journal