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Paris, 1880. Paul Gauguin is a successful financier. He lives in Paris with his wife Mette and their four children. But when his passion for painting becomes a mission to revolutionize art, Gauguin must unleash the savage within himself. To do so he gives up his job and comfortable lifestyle, leading his family into a downward spiral of poverty and travels to Tahiti. His voyages take him even further from his beloved family and teach him the true meaning of the word sacrifice. What price must he pay in order to pursue his dream? Written by
A mild version of Paul Gauguin's life as post-impressionist.
A romanticized look at Paul Gauguin's foray into post-impressionism in the late 1880's. As written by screenwriter John Goldsmith, Gauguin doesn't have a great deal happen in his life, cinematically. He gives up his brokerage job to paint, goes to Martinique, returns to France to become a leading artist in the new movement. Spends two years in Tahiti where he paints the islanders to critical acclaim. Back in Paris, he ruminates a few more years before returning to the South Seas for good.
Kiefer Sutherland does his best as Gauguin but can do little against a pedestrian plot. We see only a shade of the pain and frustration of an artist driven to create but unable to overcome a painters block. As a result, we cannot share in the exhilaration he feels when finally he achieves his goal. His wife, played by Nastassja Kinski, runs hot and cold to her husband's career choices and while she provides drama, does little to solicit our sympathy.
The narrative construction is not linear, which is unfortunate. We are constantly being thrust backwards and forwards in time which means constant mental adjustment and readjustment on the part of the audience. Not a good formula for success for a film of this calibre.
Viewed at the American Film Market in February.
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