Surviving Picasso (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This unusual biography of the renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is a Merchant-Ivory film. The team of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has been responsible for many period dramas, including A Room with a View and Howard's End. The story of Picasso's remarkable misanthropy is told as experienced by his mistress Francoise Gilot (Natasha McElhone). Francoise was Picasso's lover from 1944 to 1954, and they had two children together, Claude and … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 25, 1997
Warner Home Video


as Pablo Picasso

as Francoise Gilot

as Dora Maar

as Marie-Therese Walter

as Henri Matisse

as Sabartes

as Olga Picasso

as Kahnweiler

as Francoise's Father

as Francoise's Grandmot...

as American Art Dealer

as Picasso's Driver

as Paulo Picasso
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Surviving Picasso

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (16)

...a stunning debut by Natascha McElhone...

Full Review… | April 29, 2005
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Surviving Picasso


Like a movie star, Picasso had many relationships. This movie is about one of those relationships in fact, between Picasso at 60 and a 20's year old Francoise. I cannot believe how dependant on Picasso the mistresses are, but there is hope in the heroine of the movie.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

This movie isn't even about Picasso. It would have been nice to see Hopkins tackle an actual biopic, but this is a bastardized and misplaced attempt at an inaccurate romantic drama.

Instead of watching a movie about Picasso and his evolution as an artist, we instead follow the life story of a coat-tail riding girlfriend. It is boring, tedious, unbearably overlong, and just focuses on the most unnecessary and trivial things in an extremely interesting and inspirational life.

Surprisingly, the acting is a major flaw. Hopkins does not exude the ere of Picasso, who while confident and sometimes boisterous, was often introverted and very sensitive. McElhone is ok, but for some reason, she instead of Hopkins is counted on to carry the film, and her act wears pretty thin in a 2 hour plus movie.

The direction is wandering, aimless and focus-less, which given the plot, fits right in. (That was not a complement). The script is heavy, and bogs down the already questionable interplay between the actors. I did enjoy a few things, particularly the interplay between Picasso and his friend/rival Henri Matesse, which was one of the few accurate points in the story.

Above all the acting/script/direction problems is the story. I can overlook some of the above weaknesses if I'm given an entertaining plot. But this is dry, self-important, going nowhere dribble. There is little to no time spent on Picasso as far as his artistic development, genius or inspiration. There is little to no time spent on Picasso as an artist at all. Picasso the ARTIST is where a Picasso movie becomes worthwhile, not Picasso the womanizing douche.

Julian Toepfer

As an Artist, I LOVE Picasso.He was a Genius.Often that kind of Genius makes for a Narcissistic Personality as in his case.He was A Horrible Husband & Father who left even his Mistress for whomever he pleased, whenever he pleased & had moments of Cruelty.He was a Man to be Tolerated.

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