Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Freed from the slavishness of most authorized biography, the film makers try bold strokes.
  2. Surviving Picasso is an intelligent, beautifully crafted and engrossing Ismail Merchant-James Ivory biographical portrait of the century's most famous and successful painter. [4 Oct 1996]
  3. An absorbing look at emotional tyranny, with a great screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Obviously armed with more gangster-of-love opportunities playing Pablo Picasso than he had playing Richard Nixon, Anthony Hopkins ends up opting here for wit over full-blooded passion, but it proves to be enough. [23 Sep 1996]
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    Surviving Picasso is always intelligent and often entertaining, even when it perhaps inevitably takes on the character of an upmarket wax museum. [4 Oct 1996]
  6. Cool, assured, emotionally remote, Merchant Ivory's Surviving Picasso is never less than watchable, but it's also a cinematic paradox, a movie that works to capture Picasso from every angle yet somehow misses the fire in his belly.
  7. Surviving Picasso is quite well made and easy enough to watch, but it's not noticeably challenging or involving.
  8. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Kimmel
    70
    Latest Merchant Ivory production (produced with David Wolper) is a winner in spite of relatively modern look to the film.
  9. Hopkins' Picasso is a first-rate performance.... With his intense stare, his air of subtle lechery, and his life-devouring zest, he not only looks uncannily like the real Picasso, he was actually able to convince me that he was Picasso. [4 Oct 1996]
  10. 63
    The movie breaks down into anecdotes that don't flow or build, and everything is narrated by the Gilot character.
  11. A big, silly movie about the famed goatish painter that stars the nearly perfect Anthony Hopkins.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    50
    This movie is a dreary endurance test.
  13. Not a movie that needs to exist, but it passes the time, and at least Hopkins manages to look like Picasso at odd moments.
  14. Reviewed by: Tim Appelo
    42
    Surviving Picasso is tasteful, more expensive-looking than it really is, and not nearly as lengthy as it feels. [18 Oct 1996]
  15. Reviewed by: Arnold Wayne Jones
    40
    Surviving Picasso falters in its careless structure.
  16. 40
    Producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala bring the customary polish, but no pizzazz, to this simplistic portrait of the artist as a dirty old man.
  17. Surviving Picasso is flat-out dull, hanging like a K Mart print in a suburban mall - a testament to Merchant-Ivory's blew-it period. [20 Sep 1996]
  18. Not to put too fine a point on it, Surviving Picasso is merely the worst movie ever made about a painter; worse movies have been made on other subjects, though none comes immediately to mind. [20 Sep 1996]

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