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Surviving Picasso

3.8 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Canvas, color, metal, ceramics. The century's leading artist commanded them all. But what about the legendary Pablo Picasso's other great passion? Was romance also dominated by his genius?
Academy Award(r) winner* Anthony Hopkins gives a full-throttle performance as the acclaimed artist in this masterful movie told from the viewpoint of Picasso's longtime mistress (Natascha McElhone in a luminous film debut) and mother of his children Claude and Paloma. Director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala reteam with Hopkins for the first time since The Remains of the Day in this lusty, sweeping saga. Joined by producer David L. Wolper (Roots), they draw from a vivid filmmaking palette to create an intimate, insightful tale of genius, beauty and obsession.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

This product is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore, Joss Ackland, Peter Eyre
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ODIV10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Surviving Picasso" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Surviving Picasso" (1996) is directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, the same two who gave us "Howard's End". This story tells of Picasso's (Anthony Hopkins) relationship with his mistress Francoise Gilot (Natasha McElhone), who was the mother to two of Picasso's children. The movie also introduces us to a number of the other women who encircled Picasso's life during the time of their relationship, including Olga Picasso (Jane Lapotaire), Dora Maar (Julianne Moore), Marie-theses Walter(Susannah Harker), and Jacquueline Rogue (Diane Verona), and some of his artist friends, such as Henri Matisse. The movie is an intimate and believable account of Picasso's life right down to details of the artist's paintings and the moments where he is creating his works of art. The producers may have had a great deal of trouble getting any rights to show Picasso's paintings but it doesn't show except for the fact that his more famous works are not illustrated. Great care was taken to show believable works of art as well as the artist's studio and life.

This 2010 dvd disc is coded NTSC and so is playable on North American dvd players and looks very good. There are however no special features, not even a commentary for the film. The movie is loosely based on the biography "Picasso: Creator and Destroyer" by Arianna Huington.
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Format: VHS Tape
When week after week you see some of the slop flipped to DVD quickly, it's surprising to me this interesting film is still VHS only. I disagree with some of the other reviewers- I think Hopkins did a great job at inhabiting Picasso's spirit. Did the film "explain" him? No- but Picasso was such an elusive complicated man, it's not entirely surprising. As when Hopkins did Nixon- sure, you don't totally forget it's Anthony Hopkins- but as with his Nixon, Hopkins is mezmorizing here. Hopkins said after playing men like in Remains of the Day who were basically dead from the waist down, he relished the opportunity to play a man who was completely alive- and his joy here is apparent. Beside Hopkins, Natascha McElhone is very intriguing, as are the rest of the supporting cast and the Parisian and Spanish locations. It's a Merchant Ivory piece fer cryin out loud- you KNOW the production values are always going to be rock solid. We'd like a DVD please!
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Format: VHS Tape
This video gives insight into the life and persona of Picasso. While it touches on his climb to fame, recognition and success in the art world, it focuses primarily on his personal relationships. I love his work, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to live with him! The video had therapuetic effects for me; I would assume it would for any viewer as it certainly calls into question your own view of relationships, how they are and how they should and shouldn't be. A winner all the way around.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous film...long had I awaited the DVD version of this film, and when it finally appeared, I jumped and bought the DVD.

Alas, I was SO disappointed because the color and sound quality of the DVD format is POOR! There is NO EXCUSE for crappy color and sound quality in this day and age!!!!

And there are NO SUBTITLES/CLOSE-CAPTIONS!!!!!! Again, in this day and age, not having subtitles, or close-captioning at the very least is RIDICULOUS!!!!!! It is insensitive to the deaf and hard of hearing community (many of the latter of which are us aging baby-boomers, so it is age-insensitive as well).

Fortunately, I still have the VHS and will keep that so I can view this wonderful movie on a BETTER QUALITY, though out-dated, format...at least until the tape pops...

Geeesh...save your money and stick with the VHS if it still available.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I would still purchase this knowing what I know now, for the subject matter. However Anthony Hopkins performance is to Picasso's passion as central park is to the rain forest. The key to all great art, visual or performance is that the work must never show, it must appear effortless. However the work must exist. I have the feeling Mr. Hopkins phoned this one in. There is never a sense of under lying power, danger just beneath the surface that may erupt at any moment. No real emotional life just superficial words spoken in the typical A Hopkins manner, as a man without passion. Had Picasso been so there would have been no art as there is none in Mr Hopkins performance. Not that it is bad...it just is non existent. The rest of the cast was full of life and passion, I felt their pain and their joy. I rated this a three because I enjoyed the lesson about the life of Picasso, but the performance of Hopkins, well, the Bull had no horns and was quiet sedate.
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Format: VHS Tape
I find Anthony Hopkins to be a master at becoming whatever he intends to create. He was just as believable as President Nixon in "Nixon", as he was a madman in "Silence Of The Lambs". Here again, he does not dissapoint me. The movie is dark, and I would tend not to agree with the accuracy of the historical aspects of the film, but I did find Hopkins to be a compelling Picasso. And, yes once again, I found myself watching Pablo Picasso. I enjoy biographies of painters and creative souls, and I would be hard pressed to find a biography that is uplifting and has a happy ending. I found the same in "Surviving Picasso". It is a little long in the tooth, but I found the cinematography to be beautiful and again, Sir Anthony Hopkins' performance is beautiful. I would reccomend this for any Hopkins lover.
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