At the end of the 1940’s, abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is featured in Life magazine. Flashback to 1941, he’s living with his brother in a tiny apartment in New York City, drinking too much, and exhibiting an occasional painting in group shows. That’s when he meets artist Lee Krasner, who puts her career on hold to be his companion, lover, champion, wife, and, in essence, caretaker. To get him away from booze, insecurity, and the stress of city life, they move to the Hamptons where nature and sobriety help Pollock achieve a breakthrough in style: a critic praises, then Life magazine calls. But so do old demons: the end is nasty, brutish, and short.
Bearing sharp, blue-eyed features and the outward demeanor of an everyday Joe, Ed Harris possesses a quiet, charismatic strength and intensity capable of electrifying the screen. During the course of his lengthy career, he has proven his talent repeatedly in roles both big and small, portraying characters both villainous and sympathetic. Born Edward Allen Harris in Tenafly, NJ, on November 28, 1950, Harris was an athlete in high school and went on to spend two years playing football at Columbia University. His interest in acting developed after he transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where he studied acting and gained experience in summer stock. Harris next attended the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a Fine Arts degree. He went on to find steady work in the West Coast theatrical world before moving to New York. In 1983, he debuted off-Broadway in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love in a part especially written for him. His performance won him an Obie for Best Actor… read more
Is there some kind of anti-modernist revolt going on in the world? Pollock and others of the era seem to be getting a hard time. This film shows that beautiful art does not come from suffering, but is unfortunately often accompanied by it. This film debunks the myths that a) misery and b) substance abuse aid creativity. Not to mention Ed Harris' performance, in which he is better than Brando would have been.