2001 Amazon
The long road to Pollock began when actor Ed Harris received a biography of Jackson Pollock from his father, who noticed that his son bore an uncanny resemblance to the artist. Harris's fascination with Pollock matched his physical similarity; the actor chose to direct and star in this impressive film biography. And his devotion assured a work of singular integrity, honoring the artist's achievement in abstract expressionism while acknowledging that Pollock was a tormented, manic-depressive alcoholic whose death at 44 (in a possibly suicidal car crash) also claimed the life of an innocent woman. The film also suggests that Pollock's success was largely attributable to the devotion of his wife, artist Lee Krasner, played with matching ferocity by Marcia Gay Harden in an Oscar®-winning performance.

In many respects a traditional biopic, Pollock begins in 1941 when Pollock meets Krasner, who encourages him and attracts the attention of supportive critic Clement Greenberg (Jeffrey Tambor) and benefactor Peggy Guggenheim (Amy Madigan). As Pollock rises from obscurity to international acclaim, Harris brings careful balance to his portrayal of a driven creator who found peace during those brief, sober periods when art brought release from his tenacious inner demons. The film offers sympathy without sentiment, appreciation without misguided hagiography. As an acting showcase it's utterly captivating. As a compassionate but unflinching exploration of Jackson Pollock's intimate world, there's no doubt that Harris captured the essence of a man whose life was as torturous as his art was redeeming. --Jeff Shannon Tags