Surviving Picasso


Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
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  1. Freed from the slavishness of most authorized biography, the film makers try bold strokes.
  2. An absorbing look at emotional tyranny, with a great screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    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]
  5. 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]
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    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]
  7. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Kimmel
    Latest Merchant Ivory production (produced with David Wolper) is a winner in spite of relatively modern look to the film.
  8. Surviving Picasso is quite well made and easy enough to watch, but it's not noticeably challenging or involving.
  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.

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