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Surviving Picasso Details


This unusual biography of the renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is a Merchant-Ivory film. The team of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has been responsible for many period dramas, including Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Howard's End. The story of Picasso's remarkable misanthropy is told as experienced by his mistress Francoise Gilot (Natasha McElhone). Francoise was Picasso's lover from 1944 to 1954, and they had two children together, Claude and Paloma. The film shows Picasso (Anthony Hopkins) as a notorious womanizer, with flashbacks revealing his relationships with his wife Olga (Jane Lapotaire), the artist Dora Marr (Julianne Moore), and Marie-Therese Walter (Susannah Harker), an earthy type who sees the artist only on Sundays. Hopkins powerfully portrays Picasso as an artistic genius with an appalling habit of using and abusing women. He not only cheats on his wife but two-times his mistresses. Francoise has survived an abusive relationship with her father (Bob Peck), and she is 40 years younger than Picasso when they become lovers. The film was supposed to be based on Gilot's book Life with Picasso, but the filmmakers were unable to get the rights to it, so they settled for basing the film on Arianna Huffington's Picasso: Creator and Destroyer. The movie also uses imitations rather than Picasso's real paintings. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

  • Release date:September 4, 1996


Anthony Hopkins
as Pablo Picasso
Natascha McElhone
as Francoise
Julianne Moore
as Dora Maar
Joss Ackland
as Henri Matisse
Diane Venora
as Jacqueline Roque
Peter Eyre
as Sabartes
Joseph Maher
as Kahnweiler
Bob Peck
as Francoise's Father
Joan Plowright
as Francoise's Grandmother
Dennis Boutsikaris
Dominic West
Peter Gerety
as Marcel
Joan Plowright
as Francoise's Grandmother
Bob Peck
as Francoise's Father
Joseph Maher
as Kahnweiler


James Ivory
David L. Wolper
Ismail Merchant
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Tony Pierce-Roberts
Andrew Marcus
Luciana Arrighi
Production Designer
Humbert Balsan
Donald Rosenfeld
Executive Producer
Paul Bradley
Executive Producer
Carol Ramsey
Costume Designer