For your consideration: Cutie and the Boxer

Ushio Shinohara in 'Cutie and the Boxer'

This documentary shares the love and life of an unusual artistic couple, Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko.  They first met in 1969.  Ushio was a 41-year-old avant-garde artist in New York City. Noriko was a 19-year-old art student who idolized Ushio’s art and passion for his work. Ushio’s work often gained notoriety, appearing in numerous prestigious institutions, but rarely sold. Noriko was content assisting him in the studio, being his wife and raising their son, Alex. Noriko’s art was never the focus until recently when she finally felt free of the assistant role and once again began creating her own works.  They’re life together has not been easy. Ushio’s life, much like his art, is bold, messy, impactful, exciting, and loving. Ushio is an eccentric character who for a period of time, struggled with alcoholism and partied as much as he painted.  Noriko was the one who struggled to maintain a sense of stability in their household and raised their son.  Clearly in the past Ushio was the dominant one, the teacher, but before our eyes we see Noriko finding her self, and her passion.

If you know the art world, you may enjoy this movie on that level, but if not, you can enjoy it for the love story it is. The very real struggles for both art and love.  In a moment when Ushio is relaxing in a pool, he reflects saying, “Art is a demon…a demon that drags you along. It’s not something you can stop, even if you should. Maybe you go insane. Your wife leaves, your kid runs away. You throw yourself away to be an artist.”

An interesting, beautiful true story about two very artistic souls.

Rating- 4 stars

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Pat Sue Gentry

Pat Sue is a contributing writer for Trashwire.com, bringing her unique style to film reviews and pop culture commentary. In addition to blogging, she is also Trashwire's primary photojournalist.

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