(out of 5)
The life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat is divulged in this uninteresting biopic that stars the enigmatic Jeffrey Wright in the lead role. Basquiat was a street artist in early 1980s New York whose unique visual style had him enjoying a fully-ignited fifteen minutes of fame before a premature death of drug addiction. Throughout his short life’s journey, we meet some of the people who influenced him most, from loving girlfriend (Claire Forlani) to mentor Andy Warhol (a hilariously bad David Bowie), plus some chance encounters with odd strangers. Visual artist Julian Schnabel debuted as a filmmaker with this one, and although he captures the world that Basquiat inhabited extremely well, there’s no introspective look at the man’s life, leaving the film completely without passion.
Directed by Julian Schnabel
Cinematography by Ron Fortunato
Music by John Cale, Julian Schnabel
Production Design by Dan Leigh
Costume Design by John Dunn
Film Editing by Michael Berenbaum