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
I knew something of Vincent van Gogh, and Theo for that matter, from reading Irving Stone's book about them (Titled "Lust for Life", I think). They were both copious letter writers, which is where most of the knowledge of them today comes from. I can't say enough about Tim Roth's performance in this film. As someone earlier remarked, Roth passed up the chance to ham it up, as many actors would do to portray van Gogh's madness. It's a much more realistic quiet desperation. I had barely heard of Roth, and didn't recognize him in "Pulp Fiction". Coincidentally, I had just seen him in "Little Odessa", another well done, but somewhat low-key performance. That one is worth checking out, too. The other actors, the direction, the photography were all first rate. The only reason I didn't give it a higher score is that the subject matter is sometimes unpleasant to watch. But if you are interested enough to read this comment, then you should see the film.
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