Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. 1998. Great Britain. Directed by John Maybury. 35mm. 87 min.
In one of Daniel Craig’s most adventurous, emotionally complex roles, he portrays George Dyer, a small-time East End burglar who becomes the lover and muse of the infamous British painter Francis Bacon (Derek Jacobi, in a startlingly authentic performance). In the lead-up to Bacon’s momentous fête and exhibition at the Paris Grand Palais in 1971, Dyer and Bacon’s codependent relationship grows increasingly manipulative and volatile. The intoxicating chemistry between Craig and Jacobi is heightened by an eerie score by the legendary Ryuichi Sakamoto and visceral cinematography evocative of Francis Bacon’s own paintings.