In a story depicted in oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist's final letter and ends up investigating his final days there.
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During a self-imposed exile in Arles and Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh develops his unique, colorful style of painting. While grappling with religion, mental illness and a tumultuous friendship with French artist Paul Gauguin, van Gogh begins to focus on his relationship with eternity rather than the pain his art causes him in the present.
The Dr. is looking at a book and Vincent gives him some items for the family in Arles. Vincent says he wants them to have the book, which is the same book of sketches that the Dr. is to bring back to Arles. In the next shot the doctor is looking at the book. This could be a continuity issue or a planned depiction of Vincent's madness. See more »
Vincent Van Gogh:
I just want to be one of them. I would like to sit down with them and have a drink and talk about anything. I'd like them to give me some tobacco, a glass of wine, or even just ask me, "How are you today?" And I would answer, and we would talk. And from time to time I'd make a sketch of one of them as a gift. They would accept it, maybe, and keep it somewhere, and a woman would smile at me and ask, "Are you hungry? Would you like something to eat? A piece of ham, some cheese, or ...
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There's a mid-credits scene, where a Paul Gauguin quote is narrated. See more »
Vincent Van Gogh's last days in the south of France are depicted in this heartfelt drama by Julian Schnabel. Willem Dafoe gives a powerful performance as the destitute, troubled painter who was not understood by those in his own time. As Van Gogh seeks to express his extraordinary eye for nature and portraits, those around him are either put off, wary or sometimes intrigued. His brother is his only real comfort.
A deliberately paced film with a mournful soundtrack, this will leave you in a contemplative state. It does not tell you everything about Van Gogh or when his self-isolation began but it does seek to offer insight into his profoundly troubled mental state. His demons are quite evident throughout the film- everything from his intolerant response to the curiosity of schoolchildren to his difficulty explaining his world to whatever doctor is examining him, Van Gogh is exemplified in Dafoe's anguished face. Schnabel, himself a painter, brings his own perspective in piecing this film together, especially in showing how Van Gogh paints and goes about his craft.
The film is not without drawbacks. Oscar Isaac is miscast as Paul Gauguin, the French painter whom Van Gogh couldn't bear losing company with. And Mads Mikkelsen gets minimal screen time in a very thoughtful performance as an inquisitive priest who recognizes Van Gogh's uniqueness. But this film is Schnabel's interpretation of Van Gogh and Dafoe's exemplary portrayal of him and in that regard it works quite well. Recommended.
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