I didn’t know much about Jackson Pollock before seeing this film other than that his paintings looked like a lot of paint splattered on canvas. I suppose that a little deduction from the feeling conveyed by his paintings would have led me to the conclusion that he was a troubled man with a penchant for liquor, but I didn’t do that thinking and instead had it made painfully clear to me by the film. When I say painfully, I don’t mean the kind of painfully that reflects poorly on the creators of the film, I mean the kind that pays compliments to the filmmakers for their ability to make me grimace as Pollock’s instability takes him on a roller coaster ride through life. The film underscores in big black smelly permanent marker my (surely none too original) theory that suffering is the key to successful art. And it does so in as honest, unselfconscious a way as one could hope for.