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Monday, September 16, 2013

Georgia O'Keeffe (2009)

In 1916, the budding painter Georgia O'Keeffe (Joan Allen) arrives in New York where her paintings are being shown without her permission in an art gallery owned by Alfred Stieglitz (Jeremy Irons). They become lovers (though he is married) and eventually marry after he obtains a divorce. He promotes her career and she becomes a success but she finds it increasingly difficult to deal with his blatant infidelities. Unsatisfying and frustrating. Ostensibly a biopic of O'Keeffe, it should have been called O'KEEFFE AND STIEGLITZ. In a voice over at the film's beginning, O'Keeffe states that her life is her business and that her Art reveals everything people need to know about her. But that's just what this movie doesn't give us ... her Art. What we get is an annoying portrait of a psychologically and emotionally abusive husband and the wife who can't seem to break away and always comes back! The best parts of the film are the Taos, New Mexico sequences when O'Keeffe is away from Stieglitz and an all too brief glimpse of O'Keeffe actually creating, painting a mural, which the film could have used more of. It's frustrating how the film treats O'Keeffe as an appendage of Stieglitz, a woman unable function without his presence, at least, till the very end of the film. Directed by the actor Bob Balaban. With Tyne Daly, Ed Begley Jr. and Kathleen Chalfont.

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