'Cutie and the Boxer' follows two married artists and their struggles

The marriage depicted in 'Cutie' seems like it would be more difficult than the movie will admit.

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    'Cutie and the Boxer' stars Ushio (l.) and Noriko (r.) Shinohara.
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Ushio Shinohara was a minor celebrity artist in the New York pop art scene of the 1970s; his wife, Noriko, his not-altogether-accommodating assistant, is an artist in her right. In Zachary Heinzerling’s documentary “Cutie and the Boxer,” 80-year-old Ushio is on the comeback trail with an impending show. Noriko has her own presentation: Her fanciful drawings feature herself as the wide-eyed “Cutie” opposite a mock-up of Ushio, who in real life specializes in painting while weaing boxing gloves.

Their 40-year marriage seems like more of a trial than this overweening, lightly likable movie acknowledges. This is a guy, after all, who is fond of saying things like, “The average one has to support the genius.” He’s no genius. Grade: C+ (Rated R for nude art images.)


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