Directed by Julian Schnabel • 1996 • United States
Starring Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Dennis Hopper
Julian Schnabel brings the all-too-brief life and incandescent world of Jean-Michel Basquiat to the screen with this dreamily stylized tribute from one creative phenom to another. Jeffrey Wright fully embodies the elusive Basquiat, who goes from homeless graffiti tagger to the toast of a colorful 1980s Manhattan art scene presided over by the witty, eccentric Andy Warhol (a perfectly cast David Bowie). Fame, though, comes at a price, and Basquiat’s rapid ascent—and struggles with drug addiction—threaten to cost him his friendships, love, and life.