7 Iconic Art Movies Worth Watching Today

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, April 24, 2024

7 Iconic Art Movies Worth Watching Today

Finding truly great films is hard these days especially as there are endless options available on streaming platforms. Your choices become more limited if we talk about the Art genre, as there are but a few worthy Art movies available to stream online.

Here's our best pick of the most iconic art movies available to stream on various streaming services. So, if you cannot go to the art gallery, you can enjoy art on your screen from the comfort of your home. These movies are available on all famous streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and more.

1. Mona Lisa Smile
Available on
: Netflix (not all countries)

Mona Lisa Smile, based on the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci, tells a story of a teacher at UCLA who takes a position to teach History of Art. During her first lecture, she discovers that her students are more interested in grades and textbooks instead of actual interest in art. She decides to change their perspective of modern art and question their ‘traditional roles in society as wifes.’

An exquisite drama movie starring Julia Roberts and Kristen Dunst. The movie shows art from a different perspective and compels the women to break barriers and move away from “safe” and “predictable.”

It is Available on a few Netflix libraries only. Fortunately, you can unblock any streaming service in Canada if you want and stream Mona Lisa.

2. Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-qiang
Available on
: Netflix

Sky Ladder tells the story of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Cai became an international star after his memorable display of an art piece called sky ladder at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. It tells the story of its making that took almost twenty years. Cai’s father, a calligrapher and a painter was oppressed during the Chinese revolution. Now it’s up to Cai to re-establish his family’s honour.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Wendi Murdoch, sky ladder displays his exquisite gunpowder ladder towering 1560 ft. "Listen to that sound, full of power and grandeur," says Cai, "It's amazing, amazing, amazing."

3. Frida
Available on
: Amazon Prime Video

Frida is an American drama movie based on the private and professional life of the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Salma Hayek portrays Kahlo, and the movie also won two Academy Awards, including six nominations.

Most scenes in the movie start with Kahlo’s paintings, giving it a feeling of a virtual art tour throughout the movie. The cinematography along with visual language brings the story of one of the most famous female painters to life. The story focuses on the unique characteristics of Kahlo’s art.

4. At Eternity’s Gate
Available on
: Netflix (USA)

At Eternity’s Gate is a newer film dedicated to the famous Dutch artist, Van Gogh. It features an intense performance from Willem Dafoe. The movie tells the story of Van Gogh’s final years of emotional exhaustion in France (Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise).

The movie dramatizes the controversial theory brought forward by Van Gough’s biographers which said that his death was not a suicide, but was possibly a result of a mischief. The movie shows various art pieces by Van Gogh that you can see displayed at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

At Eternity’s Gate is not available on Netflix Canada, but it is available on US Netflix. Fortunately, you can watch At Eternity’s Gate on American Netflix in Canada.

5. Woman in Gold
Available on
: Amazon Prime Video

The British drama, Woman in Gold follows the story of Maria Altman, a Jewish refude, and her struggles over the portrait of her aunt Adele Bloch-Baure, stolen from her family during the art theft by Nazi’s at the time of Holocaust.

Main characters played by Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynold, Woman in Gold is a captivating story of a woman’s fight for her family’s legacy during the occupation of Vienna by the Nazis.

6. What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann
Available on
: Amazon Prime Video

What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann is a film dedicated to the life of America’s most famous photographer Sally Mann. It tells the story of her early nude photography of her children (called the “Intimate Family”) that caused a sensation in the art industry, to her shift to the portrayal of death and decay.

Sally Mann created art pieces that challenged viewer’s morals and values. What remains focuses on her work revolving around the aspects of death. The movie contains access to a lot of her art work and rare glimpses into the life of the artist.

7. Séraphine
Available on
: Amazon Prime Video

Seraphine is a 2008 drama based on the life of a French artist, Séraphine de Senlis. Yolande Moreau plays the role of a housekeeper, Seraphine who uses her spiritual connection to nature and transforms it into the physical form through art.

Her paint comes from blood of animals, oil from candles, and dirt - all transformed on the canvas into something mesmerizing and amazing. It also shows glimpses of her personal life and how she took inspiration during her daily walks to work.

There are some of the best art movies that you should definitely watch once in your lifetime. It shows famous art pieces in a drama setting with enigmatic life stories of the artists. These art films are available to stream on multiple platforms, and for your convenience we have mentioned the platforms as well.

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