Pollock Movie Review
Pollock is a little known film that probably has become known only because of the Oscar nomination for leading man (and director) Ed Harris, and the Oscar victory for Marcia Gay Harden. Telling the story of the famous American painter, Pollock manages to mix a good script with even better acting for an enjoying and riveting two hours.
The movie covers several years of Jackson Pollock's life, as he is pulled out of the slums and into the mainstream. Experts agreed he was a genius from the get go, but others didn't agree until he changed his style. Unfortunately, everything came at a price; his alcoholism was always there, and hardly controllable. In Pollock, we get to see the ups and downs of his life, and...
The ups are definitely more enjoyable to watch. The scenes where he gets into his paintings are incredible, as Ed Harris properly replaces the intensity that Pollock must have been going to as he unleashed his mind onto canvas. The movie takes time to show off his work in the first half of the movie especially, and it is great.
Unfortunately, every movie has its pitfalls. Of course, Ed Harris has to show the whole life of Jackson Pollock, including the alcoholism that finally drove him to death. The movie never takes more than ten minutes away from indicating that the painter can't control his problem, and while it serves for many dramatic and well-acted scenes, the same scenes get tedious after a while. Even though he may have been a genius in his own right, I really began to despise Jackson Pollock as the movie went along. He gets worse, too.
But, in the end, that is the story to be told. And anyway, that is not why this movie should be seen. This movie should be seen for Ed Harris' performance, which is one of the best of his career. He is stunning, mesmerizing, and realistic.
Oddly enough, it was Marcia Gay Harden who ended up winning the Oscar in the end, and while I guess she did a good job, her character is so annoying that I was not excited to see her on the screen at all. She starts off weird and remains weird through the entirety of the film, and it seems as though there is something missing from her character. Harris, as director, suggests her dissatisfaction early on (how would you feel if your husband got all the praise while you, a fellow painter, was left to support him the entire time?), but only very briefly and not very in depth. I would have liked to see a deeper look into her character.
Pollock is a well done movie from all sides of the board. Some things should have been focused on more than Pollock's alcoholism at times, and the movie does begin to drag in the last half hour or so, but for the most part, it is worth watching, even if just for the acting.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.