Willem Dafoe is Monumental in "At Eternity's Gate"

by Eric Blume

Willem Dafoe plays Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, director Julian Schnabel’s film about the last year in the life of the great Dutch painter. And Dafoe’s delivers a magnificent performance here: his face is the canvas of the film, in all its agony and ecstasy.

Schnabel, a painter himself who made the stunning films Before Night Falls and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, gives us a deeply detailed movie of a painter by a painter. The mechanics of landscape and portrait painting, the walks to the viewpoints, the tools, and the intimacy with the subject all become the fabric of this movie. Schnabel’s attention to these subtleties establish his credibility and give the movie real texture...
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