Set in Paris in 1919, biopic centers on the life of late Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, focusing on his last days as well as his rivalry with Pablo Picasso. Modigliani, a Jew, has fallen in love with Jeanne, a young and beautiful Catholic girl. The couple has an illegitimate child, and Jeannes bigoted parents send the baby to a faraway convent to be raised by nuns. Modigliani is distraught and needs money to rescue and raise his child. The answer arrives in the shape of Paris annual art competition. Prize money and a guaranteed career await the winner. Neither Modigliani, nor his dearest friend and rival Picasso have ever entered the competition, believing that it is beneath true artists like themselves. But push comes to shove with the welfare of his child on the line, and Modigliani signs up for the competition in a drunken and drug-induced tirade. Picasso follows suit and all of Paris is aflutter with excitement at who will win. With the balance of his relationship with Jeanne on the line, Modigliani tackles this work with the hopes of creating a masterpiece, and knows that all the artists of Paris are doing the same.
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Failing to invest famous characters with the depth to break free of a made-for-TV feel, earnest misfire does make one want to read up on the real Modigliani.
The best and maybe the only use to be made of the catastrophic screen biography Modigliani is to serve as a textbook outline of how not to film the life of a legendary artist.
I saw the film and could barely keep myself from getting up andleaving. (This of course only reflects my opinion) I thought thephotography was aesthetically OK, but it did nothing to get the film inthe right early twentieth century atmosphere. (if you want to get anidea, open up a random fashion magazine, add lots of counter lights andorange).The acting seemed OK for some, but the English seemed very out of placeand the accents felt funny. The most annoying thing was ElsaZylberstein changing her accent from posh English to frenchie Englishto German English and back again every three words, and overacting likea forties musical actor.The editing seemed scruffy, lacking rhythm and focus to tell the story.I overall thought it had some potential (script-wise) but most thingsafter that stage seem to have been overlooked (or maybe just theopposite, but in a bad way)3
Ignore any negative criticism you may have read about this film andjust see it. Andy Garcia gives his best performance ever in this piece.The entire cast is excellent, the costumes are amazing, and the setsare fantastic. The audience is drawn into the genius of Modigliani veryeloquently, and the tension between Picasso and Modigliani is portrayedin an engaging and creative manner. I won't continue on with affectedaccolades on this one. Simply put, it's a great rent! Of course, youcan criticize any film. I would have liked to have seen a little moreof the unique artistic genius of Modigliani portrayed, but that is aminor gripe.
Instead of trying to provide insight into this genius's debilitating madness, Davis prefers to wallow in incoherent and clichéd misery, punctuated by poetically oblique imagery.
It's hard to take this oddball movie seriously, right down to the undisguised streetwise-American accent of Andy Garcia as the Italian Jew Amedeo Modigliani.
This movie is the best movie which I have seen for years. Andy Garcia's performances are wonderful in this movie. It really makes me go back to Paris in 1919. I totally enjoyed this movie from beginning to finish. This is not the average bio pic you have seen before. There is so much more in this movie. If you are lucky to find a cinema showing this movie near you, go and see.
The real-life Modigliani did indeed live a short, tragic life, but this factually inaccurate, plodding film makes it feel twice as long.
A film of vitality, with imagery as haunting and romantic as it is intense.
You really don't have to know art to appreciate this movie. Andy Garcia has this ability to play romantic souls in any movie and he captures the essense of the drug and drink-addled tormented man that was the painter Amedeo Modigliani.The movie also is able to immerse the viewer into the bohemian art world of Paris in the 1920s (we get Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Renoir, etc., filling out the tableau). The feud between Pablo Picasso and Modi is an interesting teleplay within the love story between Modi and Jeanne. The confusing thing about their feud is Modi's work (that which you see on the screen) is nothing revolutionary when looked at through 21st century eyes. Basically, the guy drew nudes and portraits of people with giraffe-like necks. Picasso, on the other hand, was a genius. Maybe you had to be there to understand why Picasso loved Modi yet the two were like oil and water.The only extra is a seven-minute featurette which helps explains the storyline a bit more and gives you an idea what the director wanted to say.Even so, I felt the flashbacks to Modi's youth and the placing of a young version of Modi within scenes where Andy Garcia communicates with his younger self do not work at all. The "Madness" scenes were also too contrived. Oh, look, there's Modi smoking in an opium den--how decadent are his hallucinations.I wanted a fuller explanation as to why this Jewish Italian man was so tormented in his adult life that he destroyed his life through drink and drugs. I get he was frustrated at his inability to sell his art but he also did not "play the game" as Picasso was able to do. I get that Jews were persecuted at the time. Yet, through it all, I did not quite understand Modi's decision to ignore his own child and the love of his life in the first half of the movie.All in all, it at least made me want to look into finding a biography on Modigliani and that's more thanks to the basic story and Andy Garcia's performance than the questions left unanswered by this movie.
Why this movie did not get a wider audience is a mystery.It may not be the most historically acurate movie, How many are?, but it is beautifully shot, well acted, with a wonderful music score
The story of Modigliani is well-known. However, this film gives it lifewith a wonderful script, amazing cinematography, and mind-blowingperformances by Andy Garcia and Elsa Zylberstein, a little-known Frenchactress. I was glued to the screen from start to finish and haverecommended it to everyone. If this film, Garcia, and Zylberstein don'treceive Academy Award nominations, there's something wrong withHollywood... at least more than is already wrong with it.Run don't walk to the nearest theatre showing "Modigiliani". Forget themega-publicized studio films being released now (Winter 2004-2005). Seeit while you can. It's a true find, and one that will stay with youlong after you left the theatre.
Just so you know - I love films which are good (even fairly good)biographies of artists. There are too few done. That said, recentHollywood films want to keep to safe formulas in all their films, soone cannot expect "excellence". I really enjoyed this film, however,even though after watching it I had to review a biography ofModigliani, because I did not know much about his life. I knew aboutthe artist's community and understood much of their interaction withother artists and authors in all those "decadent" years of the 20s. Iunderstand that Frida was not yet in the group (but someone wanted herin the film ?!) and I still would like to know what real person wasrepresented in little Dedo- a sweet little boy, but was he anotherillegitimate child from earlier times?? I see nothing in actualbiography. All in all I think it IS a "KEEPER".
It took a while for me to get into it, but by the end I really liked ita lot. It could have been more consistent and seamless--the casting wasso-so. In the first part of the movie the intensity of the charactersdidn't come across, but as the movie progressed, especially near theend, their emotions were more convincing and believable. The music waspossibly the most passionate and moving part of the whole thing -- Ihope a sound track is released. I liked the sets, the costumes andfilming was pretty good. The subject matter was of particular interestto me as I am an artist. It's probably not for everyone and definitelynot for those who like formula, action films.
This movie is very good. It tells the very very sad story ofModigliani. The movie gives a good view on how Modigliani must havebeen and how he must have felt. In the beginning the movie is a littleweird, but after some time you discover that's to illustrate what hischaracter was like and what the scene was like. The viewer is reallydrawn into the movie. No image is too much, every image has a purpose.Also great music that suites the atmosphere. I agree on the Englishlanguage, the original Italian and French languages would have made iteven better. The actors all do a great job the are all very convincing.Andy Garcia is great as ever. Go see this movie, you won't regret!
Modigliani may have been noted for his drunken volatility and arrogance, but once you get a dozen years or so of Behind the Musics and E! True Hollywood Stories behind you, it's hard to get worked up about that sort of thing anymore.
I really love Modigliani's work, so I was excited to see this movie.Unfortunately, it turned out to be disappointing. While Andy Garcia isa good actor, he's an unconvincing Modigliani-- he looked much tooclean, well-fed and robust for (most) of the film! The music was bland,terrible and out of place- instead of heightening the experience, ittransformed most scenes into cheesy, sentimental, and trite. The endingwas far too drawn out, and it only made the movie more clichÃ©d andsentimental. Jeanne talks about her intense love for Modigliani at thebeginning and end of the film, but we really hardly even get to seethat-- her character is flat. Consequently, these "dramatic scenes" ofher love for him come off as contrived and ineffective. Another thing Ididn't like was the way the characters spoke. As a reviewer mentionedbefore, they switched from different languages and accents at the dropof a hat.. which was weird. From American English to European accentsto European language. It was annoying. But, I liked Elsa Zylberstein as Jeanne. She looked just like aModigliani painting. A good scene was the one where Modigliani andPicasso visited Renoir, as was the scene at Picasso's exhibition whereone of Modigliani's paintings was shown.But, overall, I feel that the movie was trying way too hard to bedramatic, artsy, and decadent and it really didn't accomplish any ofit. I thought it was a rather contrived, emotionless effort that didn'tdo much justice to the artist.
Mick Davis' prosaic art biopic Modigliani is a tiresome, hammy and ultimately annoying portrait of the artist as a young drunk.
How many variations on the same scene can be done? This movie attemptsto set a record. Set the movie to play, then leave the room & go tobed, knowing that while you sleep, it's dullness will dissipate intothe empty room. Awake refreshed, & relieved that you did not waste yourtime on Modiglilani.p.s. If this movie were the honest truth about Modigliani's life, thenit would be an absolute miracle that he painted as much as he did. Heappears more indisposed than available to do anything other thanstumble around drunk. The underlying theme with all characterportrayals is Narcicism ad nauseam. The only 'feel-good' thing aboutthis movie is 'THE END'.
Modigliani's problems lie in its contentment with superficial clichés