Russell said this was his best among all his works, which probably proves the man's latent sanity. A beautifully lucid, mournful, Romantic portrait of a deeply sensual artist in physical decay, attended by a young man apparently undergoing his own (repressed) sexual crisis. Completely coherent narratively, the film manages not to sacrifice Russell's trademark flamboyance. Think Women in Love, only better!
No baroque extravaganza this, but a wonderfully focused chamber piece that slips under the skin with quiet determination with something very tangible to say about duty, honour and a dormant creative process. Crisply photographed and handled with a deft economy of touch, this is probably Russell's finest biopic eliciting a fine trio of performances.