MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

This new biopic chronicles the life of controversial American painter Jackson Pollock (Ed Harris), a manic-depressive personality with creative genius and penchant for self-destruction. The story begins in November 1941 when Pollock meets Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden), an independent, abstract painter who sees the greatness in Pollock’s early work. She soon moves in with Pollock and takes up his cause, calling galleries all over New York City in an attempt to get his work shown. However, Pollock’s rise to prominence is not without stumbling blocks. Most notable is a horrendous drinking problem that sends him spinning out of control, living on the streets, and pushing away anyone close to him. These storms in his life are isolated periods, but eventually lead to his downfall. POLLOCK is a dark biography of a brilliant artist with marvelous Oscar-nominated performances from Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden. The film should find its niche with art lovers in its limited release around the country.

Pollock’s work and the interpretation of it are truly a contradiction. Best known for his works that have the ‘splattered’ look, Pollock attempts to paint from within himself, not using any natural external images. This leads to the bizarre, random, and often beautiful works that he produces in his heyday. As Pollock looks within to find his inspirations for painting, we see his far reaching influence in Western society. There are now significant movements, such as New Age philosophy, which promote looking within oneself for God, truth, and reality. Therefore, the film provides a nice starting point to see how this painter and his works influence current social thoughts. One graphic sex scene occurs in the movie, although no nudity is revealed. Sex is also implied in another scene, while Pollock and Krasner live together outside of marriage. Foul language is also a big problem, with 17 f-words, nine s-words, and ten moderate crudities. POLLOCK presents splattered moral messages.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Flr., New York, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (25) times - Mild 15, moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (28) times – F-word 17, s-word 9, other 2

Profanity: Several (9) times – Regular 6 (GD 5, For G sake); Exclamatory 3 (MG)

Violence: Several times – Mild (beer bottles broken, woman pushed, man falls from bicycle, man upturns dining table, car accident)

Sex: Few times (implied as couples walk into bedroom, brief scene of unmarried couple in bed - graphic movement without nudity)

Nudity: Twice (female breast in paintings); Near Nudity – Several times (lowcut blouses show cleavage, women in brief bathing suits, woman in undergarments)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (couple discuss having sex)

Drugs: Many times (cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse – not condoned but considered part of artistic life)

Other: Man self-centered, considers only his own needs

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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