The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
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It's the late nineteenth century. Adult Dutch brothers Vincent Van Gogh and Theo Van Gogh, living in Paris, lead differing lives despite having art as a connection. Vincent, who sticks to his principles which includes believing in God but not religion, wants to be a full time painter, living in squalor for his art. Theo, who works in an art gallery, lives for the moment, he selling art which he doesn't much like to lead a comfortable life. One other area of commonality between the brothers is easily succumbing to pleasures of the flesh. Theo does not sell Vincent's art, as he knows it is not in demand. Vincent's view of his brother does not change when he learns it is Theo, and not their father which he had previously thought, who is supporting him. Each brother is a tortured soul - in Vincent's case, it considered in some circles as madness - which affects how each deals with his respective life. Beyond the several sexual relationships each has, some key moments and more extended ... Written by
Originally designed to be a four-hour mini-series for the BBC. Robert Altman and writer Julian Mitchell were able to pare it down to two and a half hours by focusing on Van Gogh's last years. See more »
This story is one of the most interesting I know. Unfortunately, the script misses the real drama of this important life. But never mind. The real art of the film is in two achievements:
--Altman frames and colors his shots through Vincent's eyes. This is the most sensitive use of the cinematic palette I've seen, and makes the experience singular. I saw it on a TV, which I hate to do. I would travel to see this properly projected.
--Time Roth gives interprets Vincent wonderfully. If you ignore the lines, which are vapid, and concentrate on his being, it's quite nuanced. He is meek in body, but passionate in expression. The teeth and pipe are great.
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