This film was made in 2004 and tells the story of the Italian/Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani, his doomed love affair with Jeanne (Elsa Zylberstein) a young Catholic girl and his bitter rivalry with Picasso. In many ways it is like a 1950's Hollywood biopic- only not as good or as stylish. The direction is ponderous, the script is laughable in places and while there are many good actors involved - Peter Capaldi, Miriam Margolyes, Jim Carter etc - they are often under-employed, just standing around in the background.
Garcia is just about OK as "Modi"?!? but I couldn't really believe in him as a tortured genius, especially as Modigliani died at 35 and Garcia was 49 when he made the movie. The whole Salon D'Artists competition makes the film into an 'Art X Factor', although we are warned upfront that the film is mostly invention (but not that it is corny, cartoon-like melodrama). There was also no mention of why he painted his elongated figures - because he was influenced by African art.
The film does look good, with the streets of early-20th century Paris beautifully evoked in modern-day Romania. I also really like Omid Djalili as Picasso and the fact that he doesn't bother to change his Iranian accent for a cod Spanish one.
I think Modigliani's story is one that needs to be told but this film does not do justice to a great artist.