11 Must-See Movies About Art

As we move in to the fall & winter, seeking indoor activities where its cozy and warm, what better way to spend a chilly day than a movie and popcorn at home on the couch? With that in mind, I have compiled this list of 11 Must see artsy films that are great for you art-lovers, but many of which are simply just great movies in general (ie: your significant other or friends who don't know much about art, can still enjoy these too!) So pop some corn, cuddle up and work your way down this movie list!

11 Must See Movies about art

PS- These are in no particular order

Woman in Gold - 2015 - Staring Helen Miren & Ryan Reynolds. During WWII the Nazi's stole tens of thousands of valuable artworks from homes across Europe. This film is based on the true story of a woman who takes to the courts in order to re-gain rightful ownership of a portrait painting by Gustav Klimt, which featured her aunt as the portrait model. 

Monuments Men- 2014 - Featuring an all-star cast including: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchet & Hugh Bonneville. The film is inspired by the real life story of a group of art historians who were brought together in an effort to protect and retrieve art and culturally significant items from the Nazis. While completely historically accurate, it based on a real group of people who's primary goal was to save artistic treasures.

Pollock - 2000 - Staring Ed Harris as the lead role, is a film about the rising career and untimely death of abstract expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock. Often dubbed as Jack the Ripper, his unique painting style took the art world by storm, while he was entangled in his own series of personal, turbulent events.

Frida -2002- Tells the captivating life story of artist, Frida Khalo as played by Salma Hayek. Learning how to paint after a being injured in a terrible accident at a young age, she later goes on to marry another well-known artist. From family drama to politics, this one is sure to keep your attention.

Loving Vincent- 2017- An artwork itself, this is the worlds first painted film! Actors first portrayed their roles, which were later translated into paintings (in Van Gogh's style) by more than 100 artists. The plot takes place one year after Van Gogh's death and examines his final days and the possibility that he died by murder, not suicide.

Big Eyes - 2014- The third artist bio-pic on the list, directed by Tim Burton and staring Amy Adams as artist Margaret Keane. The film focuses on the artist's life in the late 1950s and 1960s in America, where she paints portraits that captures the public's interest. Her husband however takes credit and the two continue to build a business with this ruse. Until things go bad; ultimately they end up in a most interesting court case.

Exit through the Gift Shop- 2010 - If you hadn't heard of Banksy before, you have probably heard of him on the news recently for sending an artwork to auction that self-destructed as soon as is sold for a cool $1 Mill. In this documentary, by Banksy, we follow a store owner living in California as he makes friends with some of the most well known graffiti artists of the day, and eventually becomes a graffiti artist himself.

Tim's Vermeer-2013- This documentary follows inventor, Tim Jenison, as he tries to create a replica of one of Joannes Vermeer's paintings. He believe he can use mathematics and science to copy this old master's work that was created in the 1600's as a such this documentary will appeal to both art aficionados and science buffs alike.

Art 21- 2001 & then some  - So this one is not technically a movie, it's actually a TV series from PBS, but it was worthy of adding to the must see art list. The show first came out in 2001, and now has eight seasons. Each episode features a theme (ex Humor, Memory, Identity, etc) and then goes behind the scenes with select artists of our time who's work incorporates said theme. Its a great way to learn about contemporary artists and the art-world today.

Rivers & Tides - 2001- A documentary about environmental-based artist, Andy Goldsworthy. The film follow along with Goldsworthy as he creates on-site artworks constructed of natural materials. Showing that we can create works of art from materials as plentiful as tree twigs and leaves, as permanent as stone, or as temporary as ice, it will make you think twice about what art is or can be.

Destino - 2003 - I've written about it before and may again. Destino is a short, animated film that was a collaboration between Surrealist, Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. This project was worked-on back in the 1940s, then hidden away, without being completed or released. In the late 1990s it was re-discovered at by Walt's nephew, Roy E Disney, who had the short film completed and then released in 2003. Its a beautiful sequence dreamed up by two incredibly imaginative, yet drastically different, artists. Oh, and you can search for it and watch the whole thing right on YouTube.


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