Release Date: July 1st (NYC-Angelika Film Center and AMC Empire 25)
The Cast: Andy Garcia, Elsa Zilberstein, Hippolyte Girardot, Udo Kie.
Directed by Mick Davis.
BASIC PREMISE: Amadeo Modigliani (Garcia), an early 20th Century painter, struggles with alcoholism, anti-Semitism, and love.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Andy Garcia gives a superb performance as Modigliani. He is very charismatic and likable even when he is drunk, which is very often. The anti-Semitism during the early 1900s is a very big conflict throughout this film. He gets beaten up and made fun of in many scenes, yet he still continues to paint. There is one very memorable yet sad scene when Pablo Picasso displays a portrait of Jeanne (Zilberstein), the same woman that Modigliani painted. Jeanne and Modigliani are deeply in love and it shows thanks to both of their strong performances. Zilberstein is a beautiful, charming actress who manages to display a wide range of emotions. The musical score and cinematography is very good. There is one beautiful scene with wonderful cinematography and music where Modigliani and Jeanne dance in the street at night with just streetlights shining on them. Also, there is a montage of scenes where many famous painters paint their entries into an art competition. The final third of the film is very suspenseful and riveting.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It is amazing how much strength and courage Modigliani had throughout his life. He is a genius in every scenes of the word, although he does lead a tragic life. He clearly loves Jeanne very strongly and it is very uplifting to watch their love last through all the hardships. The final third of the film is equally heart-breaking, sad and poignant.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: A superb performance by Andy Garcia, wonderful cinematography and music makes for a very moving film.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "M" Menu