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"SURVIVING PICASSO"
(1996) (Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Heavy Moderate Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young woman becomes the next love in Pablo Picasso's long succession of affairs with women.
PLOT:
At the end of World War II in Nazi occupied Paris, a young art student, Francoise Gilot (NATASHA McELHONE) has a chance encounter with famed painter and artist Pablo Picasso (ANTHONY HOPKINS). Ever being the womanizer, Picasso invites her to study and live with him and she enthusiastically accepts. They become lovers and Francoise is swept into the great artist's world of love, passion and unfaithfulness. During her ten years with him, she meets his former lovers including Olga Picasso (JANE LAPOTAIRE), a crazed woman who claims to be his first love and father of his oldest son, Paulo (DOMINIC WEST), Marie (SUSANNAH HARKER), his mistress and the mother of his daughter Maya, and Dora Maar (JULIANNE MOORE) his last love before Francoise. All of the women both love and hate Picasso and Francoise gets varied forms of advice from them and from her grandmother (JOAN PLOWRIGHT) about dealing with Picasso. As her star fades in Picasso's eye, Francoise must contend with leaving him after he's found a new love, Jacqueline Roque (DIANE VENORA).
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's not very likely unless their aspiring artists or fans of Hopkins.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For a scene of nudity and brief sex-related language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS plays an adulterer who loves to love women but is demeaning to them at the same time. He may be the epitome of the troubled artist, but he's certainly not a good role model in this film.
  • NATASHA McELHONE plays the loving and caring woman who blindly gives all of herself to Picasso foolhardily believing that he'll change for her. Other than dropping her clothes to seduce him and later waiting too long to leave, she turns out to be a good role model.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    In what should have earned him another Oscar nomination (if not the actual Oscar), Hopkins gives a tremendous, though not entirely likeable performance. He expertly explores the many sides of the troubled artist and creates an enormously interesting and complex character. McElhone also delivers a superb performance and the rest of the cast is equally good. The interesting thing about this movie is that while you certainly don't like the way Picasso treats other people, you can't keep your eyes off him due to his fascinating nature (attributed to Hopkins' performance). While many may find the plot to be somewhat slow at times, the film certainly won't bore you. We give it a 7 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Kids probably won't want to see this one, but if they do here are the main objectionable items. Profanity is very limited in quantity, but does include two sexual uses of the "f" word. There is a scene with female full frontal nudity, but no sexual activity is seen. Being a period piece (1940's-1950's), nearly everyone smokes and Picasso heavily does so. The last remaining item is Picasso's attitude that fluctuates between childlike glee and disdain toward nearly everyone he comes into contact with. He treats women like pieces of art where he's enthralled with them at first and wants to possess them. But when his interest is gone, he simply discards them and moves on, leaving emotional wreckage behind. Although it's doubtful your kids will ask to see this, if they do you should read every category listing to decide if this film is appropriate for them.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There is some drinking seen (mainly of wine) on different occasions, but Picasso doesn't drink.
  • A woman is seen being pulled up from a balcony from which Palo (Picasso's son) had evidently tossed her while he was drunk.
  • At a communist party meeting, Picasso's comrades toast him with vodka and a drunken man tries to insult him.
  • Picasso's chauffeur drives the car into a tree while drunk.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Francoise has a bloody nose after her father has punched her many times.
  • Dora quickly jabs a knife (without looking) between her spread fingers on a table. Several bloody nicks and gashes are seen on her fingers.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Picasso is the love ‘em and leave ‘em type, although he leads the women on for months or years before moving on to the next woman. And when the women finally want to leave, he begs and pleads for them to stay although he no longer loves them, but instead only wants their attention.
  • A woman is seen being pulled up from a balcony from which Palo (Picasso's son) had evidently tossed her while he was drunk.
  • Picasso tells Francoise that he'll be gone on a trip for three days, but instead returns home three weeks later.
  • Picasso says that his infant daughter is "the perfect woman -- both passive and submissive -- as all good girls should be."
  • While making a female pottery figure, Picasso says, "To make a perfect woman, first you must wring her neck." He's referring to the squeezing of the clay before him, but is implying much more.
  • Picasso tells Francoise, "I'll sleep with whomever I want."
  • As Francoise tells Picasso that she's leaving, he tells her "without me you're nothing" and about her skills as an artist says, "You've got a school girl's facility."
  • Picasso says that his son his useless (and his son knows that he's said that).
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Francoise encounters several scorpions in her new home.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles are carried by Nazi soldiers but are never used.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • A Nazi flag is burned after the liberation of Paris.
  • Dora quickly jabs a knife (without looking) between her spread fingers on a table. Several bloody nicks and gashes are seen on her fingers.
  • Phrase: "Idiot."
  • A man is seen zipping up his pants after urinating on the street (not seen).
  • Picasso's chauffeur drives the car into a tree while drunk.
  • In a flashback, one of Picasso's former lovers is seen in a circus act where she puts a python's head in her mouth.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is minor tense music in a scene or two.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 2 sexual uses of the "f" word, 3 hells and 1 damn. That's it.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • In a play's rehearsal, the word "erection" is heard as are the phrases, "orgasm of excitement" and "supply us with your sturdier organ," after which the actors and actresses bump their pelvises together (their clothes are on) as if having sex.
  • Picasso says that he doesn't believe in the notion of "free sex" and that it's as interesting to him as getting a haircut.
  • A person translates what Picasso has written: "When you feel like f*cking, f*ck."
  • There's female full frontal nudity when Francoise drops her clothes to seduce Picasso. Nothing else happens in the scene. It's implied that they later slept together and from then on.
  • It's said that Picasso's paintings of a former love dealt with sensuality and sexuality.
  • Francoise (as the narrator) says that Picasso believed it was fine to sleep with many women, but to dance with them was immoral.
  • Picasso says that "the eye is a sexual organ. Looking at a woman is like rape."
  • While swimming with Francoise, Picasso states that he can make love underwater.
  • At a dinner party, a woman tells Picasso, "I've never seen you paint before." He replies, "That's strange. I make love and you've never seen that before."
  • Picasso tells Francoise, "I'll sleep with whomever I want."
  • SMOKING
  • Nearly everyone smokes throughout the movie and Picasso heavily does so.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Francoise's father can't believe it when she tells him that she's going to drop out of school to study art. He tells her she can't and then says that he'll have her committed if she continues. Later, he finds her at her grandmother's and violently punches her many times, even when she cowers on the floor, because he's so mad at her.
  • Francoise gets news that her grandmother has had a stroke and when she arrives back in Paris, she learns that she's died.
  • Picasso soon tires of Francoise and she must deal with that and of seeing him kiss another woman. She then packs up her things and gets the children to pick out their favorite toys and they all move out.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of the film's portrayal of Picasso's life.
  • Picasso joins the communist party.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Francoise's father violently punches her many times, even when she cowers on the floor, because he's mad that she's dropping out of school to study art.
  • An owl is seen attacking and then carrying off the dead body of a wild cat.
  • Francoise kills a scorpion in her new home.
  • Francoise (as the narrator) says that Picasso loved having women fight over him. We then see a flashback to a past and present lover pushing and shoving over his affections.
  • A woman is seen being pulled up from a balcony from which Palo (Picasso's son) had evidently tossed her while he was drunk.
  • Francoise slaps Picasso for lying about how long he would be gone on a trip.
  • Picasso's chauffeur drives the car into a tree while drunk. He's not hurt but the front of the car is damaged.
  • Francoise's father grabs a press photographer's camera and throws it to the ground, breaking it.



  • Reviewed October 22, 1996

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