To me, no other movie follows, portrays, captures, embraces, forgives, and, most importantly empathizes a human being more than Ed Harris’ auteuristic gift in Pollock. I have seen the film from its birth in the theatre in 2000 up to 12 more times, and I am still in awe at how much it continues to be a new experience for me with every viewing.
Ed Harris essentially is the troubled, talented, and doomed American master painter, Jackson Pollock, and if his performance isn’t convincing enough, his directing nearly perfects the life of an American celebrity at his most vulnerably beautiful and ugly.
Make no mistake, Pollock was just as alcoholic as he was a groundbreaker in paint, art, and expression, and with that duality came a painful reality.
As Pollock’s love and artistic companion, Marcia Gay Harden delivers a painstaking Oscar-winning supporting role, but, more importantly, a channel for the viewer to judge, hate, and/or forgive.
It’s grueling. It’s passionate. It’s satisfying. It’s the life of a brilliantly busted painter.
I know that Ed Harris’ father encouraged his son to look into making a movie about Jackson Pollock because Ed kind of looked liked Pollock during his prime. Who knew that Harris would take on this task further by sacrificing his body and will and incorporate all of the other cinematic arts (including the brilliant music orchestration of Jeff Beal) to fully embrace a man at his highest and lowest and most true.