Georgia O’Keeffe

D: Bob Balaban. DP: Paul Elliot. W: Michael Cristofer. (2009 – TV – Lifetime)

In stores on April 27th, 2010 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Synopsis: Three time Oscar nominee Joan Allen carries famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe with grace throughout this small film about the painter’s life. She is joined by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons who plays her lover, benefactor, and photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The film jumps right into its narrative of art as refuge and expression of self. And as Allen moves through time and space it is clear her feminine complexities connected with O’Keeffe. Unfortunately for audiences though, the film focuses on the latter half of O’Keeffe’s life, when she’s already been painting. This abandonment of biopic convention is a bit refreshing. Yet the film lacks any explanation or exploration as to why O’Keeffe paints what she paints and how she started. Rather Georgia O’Keeffe focuses on the relationship between Allen and Irons. The professional aspects that made her famous and the modern emotional aspects that made her feel up and down. Yet regardless, the film is a smooth and affectionate attempt at capturing one of the greatest female painters in history in her most tumultuous time.

Special Features: Other than sporting a few previews, the special features section of the DVD holds a feature entitled ‘Portrait of an Artist: The Making of Georgia O’Keeffe.’ Director Bob Balaban reiterates the difficulty of  creating a biopic when so much information is known, but limited to certain areas of life. This interview is complimented with interviews with both Allen and Irons who both connected so vividly to their characters. Even more so with space, as Allen and the production was allowed to shoot in O’Keeffe’s house in New Mexico. A great asset and compliment to the film, this feature is worth the time.

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