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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 August 2011
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Ed Harris had waited years for this project, developing ideas, gathering a team and garnering the financial backing. It was worth the wait.
He obviously enjoyed himself in this role and created a believable character. As the blank page is to the writer, blank manuscript is to the musician, so blank canvas is to the artist. Filling it with something new is the artistic challenge to which some can rise, some fall but many seem to hover between in a semi-state of madness, eccentricity and/or lethargy.
For many, the world of abstract art is a journey into the unknown from which they may never emerge. Pollock had the vision, courage and talent to create something entirely new which looks easy to copy - "Anyone can do that!" - but, in fact, it is not easy and only he did it. Harris captures all of this very effectively.
A very enjoyable film, recommended to anyone interested in art.

PS A mathematical theory proposed for the aesthetics of Pollock's work is that his "dripped paintings" are fractals, found everywhere in nature in various forms, "rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity. Roots of the idea of fractals go back to the 17th century and beyond. Look at a Pollock, look closer, then closer still ...
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on 13 May 2016
Given that Ed Harris does not really give us any new insights in the complex character that Pollock and the possibly even more interesting character of Krasner is reduced to that of a plank of wood; this is a a very engrossing energetic film. If you are a Pollock geek its historically patchy but not terrible but the way they drop in "I am nature" makes me want to hide my face every time.
The energy that Harris brings to the many painting scenes are fantastic, there is real tangible excitement and energy.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 August 2009
I've just finished watching this through the second time around, and have enjoyed it just as much the first. Loving attention to detail and fine performances all round characterise this moving biography of the tortured American painter, Jackson Pollock. Ed Harris, who stars as well as produced and dircted, gives possibly his lifetime performance as the broodingly taciturn artist, alternately afflicted by bouts of crippling alcoholoism and periods of elemental creativity. Marcia Gay Harden gives an equally oustanding performance as his heroically long suffering wife, who sidelined her own career as a talented painter in her own right, to devote herself to the Sisyphean task of keeping her volatile husband on the wagon and in production.

The works feature large in the film, as does the process by which Pollock creates them, which makes it an altogether more earnest artistic biography than is typical of other Hollywood attempts at the genre. The attention to the details of daily life in 40's and 50's America adds to the film's almost tactile impact. Sets, lighting and cinematography are of an order suitable to the subject matter, sometimes to rival in beauty the canvasses that are their theme. Some of the shots of the New York sidewalk and studio interiors are rivetingly beautiful.

A crucial feature of the film for me is the original music composed by Jeff Beal, who's work has since gone on to become ubiquitous. This score has a unique dynamic and rhythmic quality that perfectly complements the energy of Pollock's paintings. This is particularly effective in the sequences where Pollock is seen at work, creating some of his more epic canvasses. There is a special moment in which he is brooding over a canvas, when suddenly he notices how his brush has dripped onto the floor. This is the point where lightning strikes and Pollock's famous version of abstract expressionism is born. The musical accompaniment to this process is so perfectly appropriate as to raise goose pimples. It could be argued that this handling is somewhat corny, but something like this must have actually happened, for the man to find his mature landmark style.

If I have any complaint, and it is a minor one, it is that the dialogue in matters of art can seem a little crass in th early part of the film. However, this is made up for, insofar as it matters, being by a very long way a primarily visual film, later in the film, where we hear some of Pollock's own efforts to articulate his thoughts on art, which are more cogent, if characteristically incoherent.

This is a superb and beautifully crafted and acted film about the dramatic and troubled life of a true American genius.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 April 2017
Ed Harris's portrayal of the maverick American abstract expressionist painter
depicts Pollock's contemporaries and the mood of the time marvellously well.
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on 24 September 2017
love it
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on 11 July 2015
Brilliant film and labour of love by Ed Harris. Good casting and Harris is outstanding as the troubled Pollock.
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on 16 October 2013
The guy is portrayed as a degenerate, rags to riches and along the way develops a dangerous need for alcohol. He becomes extremely creative producing work of mind boggling depth and visual substance. However the fame gets to him beyond his control. A fantastic film. I am an Art Teacher and this is a film I'd recommend for anyone who enjoys art and or wants to understand abstraction.

The film is shot beautifully and Ed's acting is second to none.
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on 14 August 2016
Thanks
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on 11 August 2015
Harris excellent{as usual} in title role as Jack the Dripper
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on 22 January 2016
Brilliant!
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