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Understated, Underrated Masterpiece
cstotlar30 October 2007
I loved every golden minute of this film. It was honest, sensitive and respectful of the artist and anyone who loves Van Gogh's paintings and wants the fly-on-the-wall glimpse of his last days on earth will be in for a wonderful experience.

Unlike such films as "Lust for Life" with the Academy Awards so visibly in mind, this one doesn't offer any mad scenes, or pulpitizing or self-mutilation. In other words, if you are looking for Kirk Douglas chewing up the scenery or Stanley Kramer, bullhorn in hand, preaching one of his messages, or, heaven forbid, "Mondo Cane", this will be a disappointment. Unlike so many biopics of artists' lives, this one doesn't sell out to the mass audience with cheap histrionics. It dares to respect its subject and treat it humanely and humbly.

Every object, every face, every scene evokes what Van Gogh would have witnessed himself before his death. Just walking through a field evokes the thrill of recognizing the scene from one of his paintings! As undramatic as it may seem to some, it's really quite exciting for those of us who revere the artist and his work. In fact, I was actually angry at the end of the film that the beauty finally had to stop.

I would recommend this with all my heart to those viewers who love Van Gogh's paintings and are in search of a film that respects the artist in his dying days. It is moving and honest.

Curtis Stotlar
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One of the greatest French films ever !
michel-plazanet19 August 2004
This is Maurice Pialat's masterpiece, one of the best French films ever !

Unlike the title may induce, it's not a Van Gogh "classic" biography as Pialat only shows the last three months of the painter's life, from his arrival in Auvers sur Oise until his suicide.

The picture is constantly moving, intelligent, funny and masterfully photographed (some sequences along the river look like Renoirs's paintings). It's as much a movie about Pialat himself as about Van Gogh.

The scene between Vincent and his brother Theo , or the ones between the latter and her wife Jo are just extraordinary. And the way Pialat films Van Gogh's agony at the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers sur Oise is the mark of a genius.

Jacques Dutronc may not be a Vincent van Gogh lookalike, he's absolutely outstanding. And Bernard Le Coq as Theo makes his best performance so far.

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Great Portrait of Van Gogh & His Last Days
user168428 May 2007
If you haven't seen this movie yet, set aside a few hours and treat yourself to this gem of a film.

Jacques Dutronc is great as the Von Gogh, but Alexandra London is fantastic stealing almost every scene she is in with Dutronc. Bernard Le Coq as big brother, Theo, turns in a good controlled performance as well.

The supporting cast is also first rate.

The movie covers the last two months of Van Gogh's life from his arrival in Auvers sur Oise ( then a sleepy suburb 17 miles from Paris) until his death from apparently self-inflicted wounds. He is buried there by the way, next to his brother Theo, and the inn where he stayed is still standing. (Google "Auvers-Sur-Oise") The sad part is that Van Gogh appeared to suffered from a form of depression, if it were today it could have been treated with proper medication. If he had lived 110 years later he might have been fine.

I loved the research they appeared to do on everything from period trains, blacksmiths, inn keepers, farmers, day laborers, other artists and family members. It has an authentic feel to it.

Another good part is the lack of a sappy soundtrack to detract from the story at hand. The lack of a soundtrack renders it almost as if you are standing in the same town watching what is going on. "Excuse me, are you Vincent Van Gogh?" The picture is beautifully photographed and as one IMDb'er from France pointed out in his comments "some sequences along the river look like Renoirs's paintings" It's true.

Don't miss this.
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Nice Try, but...
juliano6622 May 2006
The strength of this film hinges on the plausibility of the account- if this is indeed an accurate portrayal of Van Gogh's last days then it at least has some innate value in that regard. Although the pain of V.G.'s suffering was excruciatingly heightened by the real-life pace, the film suffered overall from being too slow. I was left feeling depressed about Van Gogh and got the feeling that maybe some aspects of a person's life are better left undramatized. The character of "Van Gogh" ultimately comes across as a hopeless case--crazy, depressed, bitter, irresponsible and ill-tempered, hopelessly dependent on his brother and resentful to the point of suicide because of it. But is that the whole story? There must be more and this movie doesn't leave the viewer with the impression that any stones have been left unturned. Too much of this man's earlier life is unknown to us(assumed) and his actions and relationship with his brother, Theo have no real context for the viewer to truly sympathize or understand Van Gogh. And the relations he has with the love interests in the film are in many ways stilted and hard to believe. Van Gogh was a stormy, complex, singular type of human being whose story resists just this type of retelling. Nice try but I think this film missed.
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A problem film, but a notable one
Chris Knipp6 December 2015
This long film, with Jacques Dutronc in the main role, is considered by the French to be Pialat's best. It seeks to be counter-intuitive -- and also to base its a-historical version of the artist on the conclusion that nobody who made that many paintings in the last 27 months of his life (which the film focuses on) could have been seriously impaired in function, either mental or physical; and that if he was crazy, he was high-functioning crazy. This Van Gogh has moody moments, but also laughs, drinks, has lots of sex, makes a lot of paintings, and doesn't have a cut ear. (Incidentally he also shows little sign of being Dutch; but neither did Kirk Douglas in Minelli's Lust for Life.) But this Van Gogh is also an enigma.

The best feature of Van Gogh is its eccentric, surprising period film naturalism, analogous to that of Rossellini's 1966 The Rise of Louis XIV/La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIX, or Pasolini's Neorealism- influenced period effects in The Gospel According to Matthew and his Decameron, Canterbury Tales, and Arabian Nights films. Probably Pialat couldn't have made this without the Nouvelle Vague and Jules et Jim behind him. Van Gogh's best moments are just throwaways that make scenes seem more "real" because they have little to do with advancing the "plot" or with "character development" -- like the choo-choo train cigarette puffing scene in Jules et Jim. Pialat's biggest influence as a filmmaker is said to be Jean Renoir. But in his Chicago Reader review Jonathan Rosenaum mentions Bresson and notes Bresson called his actors "models." Dutronc is very assured but is a non-actor, a singer primarily. As Theo the film uses the rather wooden Bernard Le Coq. In a sense they both, like the many extras who are or could be non-actors, are "models." And that, like most of the film, can be stimulating, but also frustrating, in a film about a figure people are so interested in.

The film excels at atmosphere, the way people wear their period clothes as if they were today's latest fashions, the everydayness of trains, meals, bars, and all the times Vincent refuses to eat or drink. And its key moments are its ensemble sequences, though one big one succeeds and the other fails. The highlight is a big collective picnic by the river Oise, with dancing, singing, Van Gogh doing an imitation of Lautrec and throwing himself in the river and getting fished out, and all in very long takes, with a wonderful, astonishing sense that we are right there the whole time. But the second long sequence, almost 20 minutes, is another story. It takes place in a Paris brothel with Vincent; Theo, away from Jo, his wife (Corinne Bourdon); Dr. Gachet's daughter Marguerite (a memorably vivacious Alexandra London) who's in love with Vincent and having an affair with him -- an invented plot twist; and a volatile prostitute Vincent has been involved with, Cathy (Elsa Zylberstein). This ambitious sequence meanders so much, is so unconvincing, and goes on so long, it winds up becoming merely boring and dreary and ruining the whole film at the point that should be its climax. In the end it is just confusion and debauchery, a distraction from whatever this is about; but that's where the film is best, otherwise. This is reminiscent of the long dance in Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers/Les amants réguliers: but that becomes a magic moment, and is more germane because it's a film about a lost generation, not the end of a great artist. But if Pialat's Van Gogh is a failure it is a great failure.

Van Gogh's death is disconcertingly real, without poetry or drama, merely flat and grim. And then it's over, with a couple of hints in posthumous scenes of how famous Van Gogh will be. But there have been enough living and thought-provoking moments to make this a distinctive film and maybe one that says something about its ostensible subjects. Such a failure is, though frustrating, better than many people's successes.

Van Gogh (incidentally the French pronounce it "Van Gog," to rhyme with "jog"), 158 mins., opened theatrically in France 30 Oct. 1991, in the USA the same day in 1992. Vincent Canby wrote an understanding and clear review for the NY Times. Watched on a disk from Netflix 6 Dec. 2015, which has the option of no subtitles, English subtitles, or French ones, an unusual feature on US DVD's and a handy one.
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Gogh see another movie. This one's lame.
rooprect24 April 2007
Perhaps if the movie had been called "Joe Smith" and if it were about an ordinary average schlep who dies, I would consider it impressive. There are many great films which deal with the tragic irony of a tedious and banal death.

But in this case, the director takes an inherently powerful story and reduces it to the mundane. Van Gogh? Who was he? He certainly wasn't the guy they showed in this movie. I have to strongly agree with the other reviewer who said that the title of this movie kills it. It's not about Van Gogh; not even close.

So next I considered that perhaps the director purposely chose a famous subject and purposely wove a creative retelling of history, much like Forman's masterpiece AMADEUS. The funny thing is, this technique only works if you have something creative to depict. But if your intent is to beat history into dullness, there's nothing creative, impressive or even interesting about it.

I watched this movie because I was expecting to see an insightful peek into the final days of one of the world's most passionate and cryptic artists. Instead I found a boring showcase of some pretentious French director's visually masturbatory work. Film school nerds may be impressed, but not me. And I doubt any painters, historians or poets were impressed either. Chalk this one up as another esoteric little waste of film.

PLEASE skip this movie and go watch BALLADE O SOLDATE (1959) instead. Now there's a fantastic film depicting the final, realistic days of an anonymous young man. And it didn't step on any history books, either.
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A disappointing movie with no connection to its title!
Deckard4219 January 2007
I was looking forward to see this movie, being in love with Van Gogh's paintings. I have traveled most of the places Van Gogh lived and painted at and was excited to see them in the directors interpretation. In short: I was really disappointed!

To be fair: This might be an average movie with some nice acting and a realistic story.

But how does this have to do with Van Gogh as an artist or his art?

Van Gogh's highly emotional, passionate few of the whole world he lived in, his subtle way to express this, the search for the beauty inside things, the flow inside all of his paintings - you will find nothing like this considered in the movie. Not even the scenes and settings he painted play any role at all, one or two of them appear by pure random it seems, just for storytelling. A character who suicides after having said "I don't want to be considered an unhappy man", a painter who is searching his whole life for a way to show a reality behind the surface, who lays the foundings for generations to come without living to see it - what a terrific movie this could have made.

Instead you watch something that comes along like a well done TV production. This movie would be nowhere bad at all - if it was not claiming to be about "Van Gogh". Like this, it just simply doesn't deserve the title! Instead of watching this movie, you can read the text at Wikipedia about "Van Gogh", it will give you more insight.
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The People In Van Gogh's Life
Lechuguilla12 May 2013
The film focuses entirely on the final three months of the artist's life, as he lived in Auvers, near Paris. What we get is a cinematic study, not so much of Vincent himself, but of his relationship with those around him in those final weeks: the doctor and his family, the brother and his wife, the people at the hotel, his various love interests. For a film about a painter, the plot has him painting very little. The film is almost a soap opera of back-and-forth talk, mostly serious but with some lighter moments mixed in. Too much dialogue is my main complaint.

Vincent (Jacques Dutronc) comes across as introverted, shy, temperamental, intellectual, and unpredictable. He gets a lot of criticism of his painting from those around him. It's hardly a supportive environment, especially given how prosaic, trite, and banal these people are. Tensions arise over mundane issues like comparisons with contemporary painters, money, Vincent's recurring mental problems, romance, and so on.

The visuals look really good. Cinematography is competent and unobtrusive. Costumes and prod design seem authentic for the period and suggest strong tendencies toward a Victorian, prim, pretentious culture. Casting is acceptable. Acting is very good because it is so understated. Pace trends slow. There's very little music in this film, and no score; which conveys a sense of realism as people come and go amid the perfunctory activities of everyday life.

It's been said that legends don't look like legends when they are being made. I think that applies to Van Gogh, here. He's just another painter worrying about his art, suffering from mental and/or physical ailments, and surrounded by banal people. That would not be Hollywood's approach to this famous artist. But it's an approach that's far more realistic and believable. The legend stuff would come later.
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Every single frame of this movie seems an impressionistic painting
priapo21 August 2000
"Lust for life" of Minnelli is a great film, but in my opinion doesn't give a faithful portrait of Van Gogh: his nature is too romanticized. On the contrary this film of Pialat gives a real mirror of the inner nature of the great painter. I think Van Gogh was really so misanthrope as the film describes. This puts the film of Pialat above the one of Minnelli. Besides this film seems a moving painting, because if you pause the playing when you see the video you can see an impressionistic picture. this peculiarity is so marked that there are scenes that are in the film only for a visive aim (for example the Vincent's sister-in-law that washes herself in a tub). Even if "Lust for life" is a great film, I think "Van Gogh" is greater.
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All in all, quite ordinary.
shaunpearson200718 October 2018
Jacques Dutronc plays the part of Vincent Van Gogh well. The whole cast do a great job. The film makers appear to have made much effort to portray life back when Van Gogh was alive. I might have made the mistake of expecting too much from Van Gogh, having read the words 'One of the greatest films by one of the finest directors of the second half of the 20th century'.

Ultimately, the story follows Van Gogh during his last days, doing quite normal things, eating, drinking, dancing, chatting, arguing, and doing a spot of painting. All in all, quite ordinary. With a run time of 159 minutes, I found the film overly long, and failing to hold my attention from time to time. Mr. Turner (2014) staring Timothy Spall as JMW Turner, more enjoyable entertaining film about a painter, I would recommend Turner more.

Note: Vincent Van Gogh appears to pass away at the end of the film with both ears in tact?
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Pialat's Van Gogh
The_Philosophy_Man1 April 2018
This is, without a doubt, the most brilliant film ever made about the tormented painter. Jacques Dutronc is absolutely brilliant in the title role. He plays Van Gogh with an understated sense of mood. This is not a portrayal of an insane man. There is no ear-cutting scene or any manic type of behavior whatsoever. That has all been done before and director Pialat does a magnificent job of steering clear of it. Instead, the last 67 days of Van Gogh's life is captured with what might be called a "painting within a painting". Every scene is gorgeous, a true work of beautiful artistry. Though it is true that many of the things that happen may not be entirely accurate from what is historically known about the artist...somehow, I didn't care. This film is one of the greatest ever made, and for those of you who thought it was too long and boring, well, go see the puke that Hollywood churns out...For, in my opinion, this movie could have lasted forever.
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deker000021 July 2007
I have been an admirer of Vincent Van Gogh for many years and have ready many books about him, so I picked up a copy of this movie with high hopes. I also, like the first reviewer, liked the authentic period look of the movie. The actor that played Dr. Gachet, was very convincing and looked very much like him. Jocques Dutronc looks nothing like Vincent and I didn't really understand why the film makers wouldn't at least have him grow a beard? I have also never seen any photos of Theo with out either a mustache or a goatee but never a beard. Kinda like they got the characters mixed up. Theo was only 33 during the period this movie is supposed to portray. The actor that played him looked 50. I have never really figured out why film makers cannot do a more accurate movie of Vincent. Most of this movie depicts his "affair" with Margurite Gachet and there is little or no evidence to support any this nonsense. There is a lot of very strange and irrelevant dialog in this movie and many of the scenes don't seem to have much purpose or even flow together...Its a very odd film. Could have been much much better with little effort...
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MyOpinionIsFact28 January 2002
This movie is over-rated and I would not recommend it you unless you particularly enjoy slow, dull French movies."Van Gogh" (1991) is unnecessarily long and, in my opinion, it's pretentious. The dialog is discontinuous, the characters are unlikable, and the pain of Van Gogh's life doesn't seem to follow from the environment in which he lives. This movie fails to engage the viewer and before an hour until the end you'll find yourself wishing it were over.

If you want to know something about Van Gogh's life, I suggest reading it in a book instead of gaining it from this attempt at a film.
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Gomby15 July 2005
I love European cinema, including a number of those films which deal with the lives of artists ("Wolf at the Door" and "Caravaggio" are two favorites that come to mind), but this was one of the most infuriatingly dull and pointless films I've ever seen. Perhaps it's trying so hard to have the quality of everyday life and avoid biopic clichés that it doesn't do anything BUT display the quality of everyday life while avoiding biopic clichés. I never thought I'd see a movie where a character stops in the middle of a conversation, notices her husband has a blackhead and pops it for him before going back to the discussion at hand. Well, fine. But the conversation bracketing this bit of everyday business was dull as dirt anyway. In fact, the popping of the blackhead was the most interesting thing in the scene, which should tell you something.

In terms of the characters, the women are particularly annoying. Every once in a while one of them talks about the suffragettes, or the fact that they're not taken seriously because they're women, but each of their parts seem to have been written and directed by someone who's never even met a woman. One female character gets over a traumatic moment in a heartbeat and goes back to inanely smiling, another shows one mood and one mood only; petulant.

Toward the end, when the audience was looking for their coats assuming, with Vincent dead, that the film was about to end, Pialat throws in a minute or two bit where a minor character has a heavy trap door fall on her foot, which nearly breaks it. She gets upset, yells at the person who dropped the door, is taken outside to soak her foot in water, has a guy massage it. You think: "what the hell is this doing here in the last two minutes of the film? Why didn't they cut it out of this already overlong movie?" Well, the answer might be that if they cut out all the unnecessary stuff like this, there simply wouldn't have been anything left to release.

P.S. I saw this with a friend who is an Art History professor, and he also thought this was the most pointless film about an artist he'd ever seen.
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Portrait Of The Artist ...
writers_reign6 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with making a biopic of an artist is the temptation to compose every frame as a painting; Vincente Minnelli already had this tendency so he was a logical choice to make Lust For Life, which I've yet to see. No one ever accused Maurice Pialet of either artistic or poetic tendencies given his predilection for the in-yer-face School of Film-making but he does succumb to the urge from time to time in this ... well WHAT exactly is a good question. It chooses to record only the final weeks in the life of Vincent Van Gogh, from his arrival at Auvers until he killed himself a few weeks later. Jacques Dutronc is not a natural actor to portray a passionate, tortured artist and Kirk Douglas was a much more obvious choice - though not having seen Lust For Life I am unable to comment on how well he justified his casting - being cool and cerebral, the ideal qualities for his role in, for example, Merci pour le chocolate. To be fair to Pialat I doubt if he was interested in seducing the viewer with pretty compositions or logical storytelling and his period research is pretty nigh faultless as are the performances particularly Bernard Le Coq as Theo. On balance this is a movie that needs to find its audience with little or no help from the director.
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This is not at all the Van Gogh I "know"
Tekla-too6 February 2008
First I should mention that I cannot talk much of the cinematography as my monitor for watching this film was much too dark and some scenes were cast almost entirely in darkness, but still I could always read the subtitles and saw much of the movie visually.

Van Gogh is a favorite "character" to me, both his art and his life. Just from the little we DO know about Van Gogh, this movie is just wrong. It is portraying someone else, I don't know who. It's not a bad movie to watch. I agree with the other reviewers who said this might be a very good movie if it were about "John Doe." Just don't expect to get a glimpse of the great painter. You will not.
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Divine. Must See.
rupanisp28 November 2003
Beautiful Direction.

Beautiful Art Direction.

This movie is a painting.

Must see.

Thanks and Regards.
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Film, Van Gogh ,not the same thing.
mannykronos119 June 2010
Many reviewers hail this as underrated!. I, most Happily disagree. Unfortunately any insight to the great painter is done in arbitrary exposition from supporting characters, while the main one stands around aloof. If Hollywood romanticized, any previous films of Van Gogh, it's only a natural inclination too heighten what we see in his paintings!. As an actor, I would be emphatic just to be in a scene where I'm told " You're van Gogh!-you stand here"!( I know this is a harsh assessment,but that's the way it plays,three quarters of the way!) What we are given here, is not an attempt of visual or narrative connection from the man to his works, rather, an exercise in screenplay. I didn't wish to agree with the naysayers of this film,so I had to rent and see for myself. This film could have had any other title, maybe.. that's the point, but whatever preparations no matter how extensive was not translated through this media. Watching this made me want to see 'El Postino' for the hundredth time. Now for the underrated loyalist, I recommend Bronson(2009),now this IS a film that is truly underrated!.
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"Warm, incomparable, quivering"
howard.schumann5 December 2016
The life of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is brought to the screen by French director Maurice Pialat in his 1991 film simply titled Van Gogh. Unlike Vincente Minneli's Lust for Life which dramatized key events in the artist's life, Pialat's film is limited to the last sixty nine days of Van Gogh's life. It is a fictional film based on the director's impressions of what van Gogh's last days might have been like given his creative output. Unlike the histrionics of Lust for Life, Pialat, a painter himself for twenty years before he turned to film making, disdains sensationalism, showing Vincent as a lonely and tormented artist who had severe mood swings, ranging from kindness to roaring anger and jealousy but one who was fully capable of social and sexual interaction with others.

Pialat defends his conception by saying simply, "One doesn't produce 100 masterpieces in a state of depression--van Gogh died from having had a glimpse of happiness." The film is set in Auvers-sur-Oise where van Gogh recuperated following a self-inflicted injury to his ear after an argument with Gaugin in Arles, and after he was hospitalized at an asylum in St-Rémy for one year. The film begins with van Gogh's arrival in 1890 in Auvers, a town close to Paris where he is greeted by Dr. Paul Gachet (Gérard Séty), an art collector and homeopathic doctor who was contacted by Vincent's brother Theo (Bernard le Coq). Remarkably portrayed by French singer and actor Jacques Dutronc, van Gogh appears pale and emaciated as he takes a room at the Ravoux Inn and begins to concentrate on his work, painting a portrait of Gachet's charmingly coquettish teenage daughter, Marguerite (Alexandre London) who falls for him although he is twenty years her senior.

Not mentioned in Vincent's letter to Theo, Vincent's relationship with Marguerite may be fanciful, but as portrayed by London is convincingly real. Not intending to become a recluse, van Gogh greets Parisian friends at a gathering by the river which Gachet organizes to celebrate the artist's arrival. It is there he meets up with Cathy (Elsa Zilberstein), a prostitute he met at Arles, ensuring a love triangle that serves to highlight the painter's contradictions. As time passes in Auvers, Vincent's complicated relationship with his brother Theo and wife Jo (Corinne Bourdon) brings out his anger that Theo has only sold one of his paintings and he has had to rely on his brother for support, a situation that reinforces his sense of failure, doubt, and guilt.

In this atmosphere of recrimination in which Jo berates Theo for his handling of their finances and Marguerite denounces Vincent as sick, the painter follows his darkest instincts to commit a final self-destructive act. With Pialat's natural and improvisational style, the film Van Gogh provides a full and rich experience. Everything in the film has an authentic look and feel from the old nineteenth century trains to the country inns, the blacksmiths and the farmers. The film is alive with dances and songs, and the beauty of the surrounding fields inspires van Gogh to reflect its bright colors in his work. Many of his famous paintings are shown, although there is little discussion of the artist's technique or creative process.

Praise for the film is displayed in the letter written to Pialat by Jean-Luc Godard in 1991. "My dear Maurice," Godard says, "your film is astonishing, totally astonishing; far beyond the cinematographic horizon covered up until now by our wretched gaze. Your eye is a great heart that sends the camera hurtling among girls, boys, spaces, moments in time, and colors, like childish tantrums. The ensemble is miraculous; the details, sparks of light within this miracle; we see the big sky fall and rise from this poor and simple earth. All of my thanks, to you and yours, for this success – warm, incomparable, quivering.

Cordially yours,

Jean-Luc Godard."

A fitting tribute, indeed.
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Authentic is the key word here.
punishmentpark9 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The personification of Vincent Van Gogh by Jacques Dutronc shows where in at least one respect the Dutch TV-series 'Van Gogh; a house for Vincent' completely failed. But also in direction and storytelling, Maurice Pialat shows a superior sense of what is truly important: catching the right (vibrant or depressing) atmosphere, boldly attacking the awkward issues that were at hand in Van Gogh's life, and not watering it all down for prime time audiences with - for instance- some later living, unimportant relatives.

I must admit, though, that the long scenes of dancing and partying did wear me down a little at some point. It still felt authentic, but as the Dutch would say, it was: "A little too much of a good thing." The ending was the only real disappointment, when Marguerite (a terrific role by Alexandra London, nonetheless) gets the last word(s) with a stranger who visits the town when Vincent is dead. It felt out of place and completely unnecessary.

A good 8 out of 10.
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tres mal
kaput4506 October 2007
How true can it be if he never cuts his ear off? The man dies in this film with both ears. I kinda think that this was an important moment that his movie glosses over. The guy dies with two ears! I pretty much know that the man went insane and cut his ear off to give to a whore that he was in love with. I think this show has little or no reality involved. come on! Isn't this basically (besides his paintings) what my Van Gogh was basically known for. This movie drags on and on. Thre is little or no truth to it, and I basically give it a thumb up the ass. This movie is boring and not truthfull at all. Complete waste of what seemed to be 3 + hours. Avoid this movie at all costs. -=db=-
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Van Gogh was brilliant and completely messed up, it makes for good cinema
jeuneidiot24 March 2007
The idea of Jacques Dutronc as Van Gogh didn't sit well with me at first. I didn't think they looked much alike and Jacques just seemed too cool and French and rock star like to pull it off. It took a few minutes to get used to, but I quickly became engrossed in the tale and the acting and was no longer wary. This film focuses on Van Gogh's last few months of life, while he went to Auvers to seek treatment from Dr. Gachet for his headaches.

Always the recluse, the daughter of Dr. Gachet is drawn to him, falls in love and follows him about, although Van Gogh seems mostly indifferent to her attention and feelings. His mental state becomes worse and worse and in his case it makes him a short-tempered, angry, difficult person. He insults his brother, his brother's wife, his girlfriend, Dr. Gachet and about everyone he knows until he finally shoots himself. The film spends an inordinate amount of time on Vincent suffering in bed with a bullet in his gut, being downright cruel to those who attempt to help or console him. How many scenes of him laying angry and in pain in his soon to be death bed do we really need.

This movie is like an avocado and bacon and watercress salad that Tyler Florence created. First you take 3 avocados (which I have come to love since I went to Chile last March) cut them in half and remove the pit. Then fry up a couple of slices of bacon and crumble them over the avocado halves. Then strew some watercress artistically across the plate. Then drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I find the salad great when I'm eating bites of avocado and bacon, which I generally eat first. Then I have some watercress with a few bits of bacon leftover. This is bitter and not that pleasant, so it finishes of rather poorly for me. When I'm done I mostly remember the good bites from the beginning with the creamy avocados and the salty, delicious bacon. I should just leave the watercress out and it would be excellent. 6/10
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