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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2015
well.this really was a melodrama of sorts..the central theme of rivalry played out by the two antagonists..Modigliani ( Garcia) and Picasso (Djalili ) were quite unbelievable -really. This landscape was glazed with brushes of melodrama a les Miserables and Tosca and although it was moderately effective in this, it does make you wonder if all of the content could possibly be factual-you cant quite believe it! Djalili as Picasso-absurd! but as an uncritical movie it was quite ok for Djalili to play him..Elsa Zylberstein was brilliant as Jeanne -Modi's muse and wife to be. Worth watching
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on 5 June 2017
Not bad but lot of Real Modigliani is absent
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on 25 May 2017
Great movie...
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on 6 August 2009
A very disappointing film that fails on several counts, from its dreadfully embarrassing opening scene and the hopelessly mis-cast Andy Garcia as Modigliani, to its load of old cobblers ending.
To begin with, he didn't die like that and the last words on Picassos lips were Modigliani?? Yeah right, I think not. Who ever wrote this tripe did not get a degree in Fine Art.
Whilst I have the greatest respect for Garcia as an actor, this was NOT the right part for him, it's a bit like casting Sylvester Stallone as Shakespeare's Hamlet, 'To be or what?' spoken with a heavy New York City accent. (see Robin Williams hilarious impression).
For a start Modi was young, he was only 34 when he died, he was by all accounts very handsome and he was very slim, in fact he was suffering from malnutrition when he died of T.B. Garcia did not look young and handsome or for that matter malnourished, quite the opposite , he's far too old to play a part like that. (Mind you, Garcia did co produce and co direct this film, maybe that's how he got the part).
In fairness though, we are warned that it is loosely based on Modigliani, this is somewhat of an overstatement to the point of being pure fiction. So why even bother to call the film Modigliani?
Also Picasso never ever regarded Modi as a rival, they painted in totally different styles, as those two utterly appalling paintings we are shown at the end, that Picasso and Modigliani would have turned in there graves at the sight of, proves my point. The films lumpen, leaden script apart from being inaccurate is very badly written and directed and I thought the story line was extremely immature, there was never a painting competition between Modi and Picasso, it just didn't happen. The film shows nothing of Modi's African Art influences, nothing of his painting technique, (inspired most definitely by Cezanne not Renoir, who he actually had no time for and told him so, yet another mistake this film makes), which if your going to make a film about a famous artist, you'd think detail is important, at least get some of your facts right.
There was only a brief portrayal of the extreme poverty he worked in; he was so impoverished, he used to paint on both sides of the canvas and stole railway sleepers from the new metro line for his carvings and fuel for his fire and his Caryatids were created from stone blocks removed from the roadside and construction sites late at night, the film shows none of this.
The films biggest flaw however is the lack of empathy you have with the main character Modigliani, you have little or no feeling for him, Garcia is very unconvincing. You do slightly feel for Jeanne Hebuterne, his last girlfriend, who was pregnant and had her other child taken away, this part was well acted by Elsa Zyberstein.
A very surprisingly good turn from Omid Djalili as Picasso. I thought he was very good and the filming and Camerawork direction by Emmanuel Kadosh is excellent. These are the films only plus points.
Modigliani's short life story of misunderstood genius is the stuff of legend, with all his doomed tempestuous love affairs and his excessive use of young prostitutes, he'd also had relationships with all his models for his famous nude paintings,not to mention the opium dens, hashish and absynthe abuse, he almost seemed like a Lord Byron of the art world, you'd have no need to make it up, just sticking to the facts would be enough. With all these ingredients, how could they possibly fail to make a great movie, instead this film was just an expensive wasted opportunity.
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on 27 October 2015
watch anyfin wiv dar andy garcia innit!!
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on 27 November 2011
As other reviewers have shown, this is not a serious depiction of the artist's life. As in so many biopics with artistic heroes the actual act of painting appears to be a very easy and trouble free operation, very much secondary to the more important business of being a proto-rock-star bohemian. You are left with no sense that Modigliani is driven by his art, or the journeys of exploration that he undertook to create his masterpieces. Having said this, I must say that I loved it. I am not really sure I want to watch a gut-wrenching tale of addiction, poverty and frustration anyway (we can get all that at home if we want)! The film is beautiful to look at and the characters are all engaging and well-acted, so that we do care what happens to them. Ella Zelberstein is quite stunning and looks just right to have been the model for Modigliani's portraits of the real Jeanne. I liked the device of a young Modigliani appearing as a bystander periodically through the film, until he is led away from his own grave at the end. The soundtrack is great, including lovely tracks by Keedie. All in all watching this film is a pleasant way to spend an evening...I do wish they had taught the cast to pronounce `Modigliani' though, those hard `g's really grated!
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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.
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on 27 May 2011
The problem with a film about a real person is that you don't know how much to believe - even with the disclaimer at the beginning I thought that there would be no point in making the film unless there was some truth in it so I watched it wondering "Why didn't I know that?" - especially when he is so dreadfully beaten up and now I am angry because I don't know where the fact finished and fiction started!
That said i thought the visuals were rather good, I liked Andy Garcia's acting and Picasso was splendid.
I now want to find a book on the real life of Modigliani!!
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on 25 August 2013
Apart from one or two scenes looking quite attractive, being well lit and artfully composed, that's it! This is a complete turkey of a move with almost nothing to recommend it. The script is just embarrassing, the direction lumpen and clumsy, the acting appalling and the liberties that it takes with Modigliani's life and work unforgivable. It's all just so corny and clichéd I can't imagine how it ever got made.

I really don't know how I sat through it to the end.
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on 31 May 2012
I'm not really sure why I sat through to the end of this. I wasn't convinced by any of the actors and the story wasn't fluid.
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