Jackson Pollock is the proverbial artist struggling with his talent and his alcoholism when he meets Lee Krasner, who, despite his tantrums is able to provide the support he needs.
How many times have gallery-goers looked at a canvas by Jackson Pollock and thought, 'A five-year-old kid could have done that'? But, as this biopic shows, Pollock didn't come up with his trademark style of splatters and splashes overnight - it took years of mental torture and anguish.
Ed Harris bears an uncanny likeness to the painter, which may be one reason why he has been trying for years to turn this life story into his directorial debut, and Marcia Gay Harden's performance as Pollock's long-suffering partner, Lee Krasner, deserves better than the snooty surprise that greeted her Oscar victory.
However, it is, unfortunately, a typical biopic treatment - a self-doubting, explosive subject tries the patience of those who love him, but eventually triumphs over adversity.
One scene, however, stands out. As Pollock stands silently in front of a blank wall-length canvas, Harris lets us share his combined fear and exhilaration at the potential of this virgin space. It's a remarkable moment of insight into the artist's creative process.
Its an actors movie, with Harris in good form and Harden going some way to proving why she was the surprise winner of last years Best Supporting Actress Oscar.