this movie is mixed in heart and success.
while adequate enough as it is, it is simply a shame that the material (which is rich) is muted.
at its heart the movie is about O'keefe becoming an successful artist and watching it grow through her long life. to do so it in invariably a story of Alfred Stieglitz as well. the legend says that stieglitz put some of her works in a show without her knowledge and then she demanded that they be taken down as "unfinished" and thats how they met and fell in love. frankly, the legend reeks of a "media stunt" that has more to do with a set up to suggest proof of how amazing great the work was more than it has any measure of fact to it. still as a legend it goes to show how connected o'keefe's success is to stieglitz's authority and promotion. without him we may have never seen o'keefe's work and her work may have never been developed further. of course the opposite could be true as well.
the filmmakers however wants this to be a heart warming tribute and to do so they film the bio-drama in a typical "family movie" almost made for TV sort've drama. they want it to be neat and clean, tidy and saccharine. except the love story is begins with cheating, divorice, and more cheating, and then moves on to almost abusive behavior. the themes which one could delve into using stieglitz and o'keefe's relationship is rich material and could be truly insightful. instead the filmmakers attempt to acknowledge it and move on, leaving it as a sort've footnote but then never attempting to reconcile these issues with any sense of greater meaning. in the end what we see is simply a shallow glance at what could've been a great story.
if the filmmakers had allowed themselves to get into darker corners of human drama, we would've had an exceptional study. as it is, this film is little more than a caricature. its acted as such, in fact. stieglitz's part is played as a bumbling fool. for how shallow and goofy he is portrayed, you'd almost think they wanted to make a comedy out of this. how can a man who accomplished as much as he did, be that absurdly incompetent? and o'keefe is mostly uptight.
its just a shame their lifes are so poorly portrayed here. its a good story, legend and bio inevitably mixes with them, but still there is truth in the legends. here we get a sunday morning version of it. too bad. i guess we'll have to wait for someone else to film their story.