Pollock

Bomb Rating: 

Jackson Pollock's "art" looks like a dung-fight in a monkey cage.

Though I may be happy for Ed Harris that he can identify with dead painter Jackson Pollock, I'm really not all that interested. Like Pollock, Harris apparently has his demons, which include drinking. Pollock was a drunk who developed a new style of painting that basically involves pouring the paint onto the canvas, which is kind of what happens when you're drunk and the cocktail starts to tilt out of your hand -- hey, irony that! He also died in a car crash that claimed the life of an innocent woman. Great man.

So what's going to happen after this film is released? Every actor/filmmaker wannabe with a personal problem is going to find some historical figure to emulate so he can make a film that isn't too big of a stretch. This is the best excuse I've ever heard to drink and do drugs. Now when reporters ask Robert Downey Jr. why he's such an irascible, pants-shitting dopehead, all he has to say is that he's researching the role of Keith Richards. Gee, Ed Harris, why were you drinking all those years? To play Jackson Pollock, you say? Wow, I guess you were actually chugging big, cheap bottles of "art." From Ouzo to Oscar nomination.

Granted, Harris doesn't glorify Pollock's lifestyle, but why do we even need to be exposed to people like this? Isn't it enough that I have to look at his impossibly confused paintings in a museum or on a postcard? And what the hell are those paintings all about anyway? All I can say is that in the eyes of this particular beholder, anything I could do holding a brush in my ass cheeks isn't art, and Jackson Pollock's "art" looks like a dung-fight in a monkey cage.

There isn't much of a story here from which to actually fashion a movie: Pollock paints; he meets Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden); they get married; he's mean to her; he paints some more; he dies. Not exactly a stunning story arc, is it? Since Pollock is rude and mean and a womanizer, who knows why Krasner chooses to stay with him other than for the notoriety? They fight and scream at each other, which seems to be at the heart of their codependence. When Pollock gets famous, he finds some young, hot tail (Jennifer Connelly), and ignores his wife altogether. This explains less to me about what makes a great artist and more about how quick the critical herd is to misinterpret someone's tortured excreta as greatness.

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