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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon 18 rating

Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.

Biopic 1998 87 mins

Director: John Maybury



Daniel Craig plays George Dyer, petty crook turned artist's muse, in this unconventional biopic of painter Francis Bacon (an uncanny portrayal by Derek Jacobi). The 1960s Soho demi-monde, centred on the infamous Colony Room, is artfully realised by director John Maybury, both seedy and seductive as Bacon's tempestuous relationship with Dyer plays out in a haze of drugs and alcohol.

Love is the Devil contrasts Dyer’s decline with Bacon’s rising fame, until their sado-masochistic love affair is cut short by Dyer's suicide in a Paris hotel room during a 1971 retrospective of Bacon’s work. Permission to use his paintings - among the most valuable in contemporary art history - was denied by the artist's estate. In its design Maybury’s film overcomes this potential hurdle with ingenious references to Bacon's melancholic style.