Modigliani | Chicago Reader

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This overwrought 2004 biopic needlessly sensationalizes the life of early-20th-century painter Amedeo Modigliani, the poster boy for Parisian bohemian excess. Most of the film is about his last tumultuous affair, but lead Andy Garcia is less effective opposite Elsa Zylberstein, as the doomed lover, than when he spars with Omid Djalili, who gives the film's best performance as rival Picasso. It's an authentic-looking period piece, but writer-director Mick Davis so poorly develops the characters that if not for the constant name-dropping (“Are you the famous artist Maurice Utrillo?”) they'd be completely unidentifiable. Ironically the only scene that conveys a glimmer of the artistic process involves a fictitious competition between the Montmartre greats. R, 128 min.

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