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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.
One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontline of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.
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.
Willem Dafoe was born William, but changed his name to Willem, which is the Dutch version of the name. Van Gogh, who he portrays in the film, was also famously Dutch. See more »
Vincent Van Gogh:
There's a lot of destruction and failure at the door of a successful picture. I find joy in sorrow. And sorrow is greater than laughter. You know, an angel is not far from those who are sad, and illness can sometimes heal us.
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There's a mid-credits scene, where a Paul Gauguin quote is narrated. See more »
This film succeeds in various ways: Dafoe delivers a marvelous portrayal of van Gogh, and Rupert Friend offers a dignified performance as Theo, his brother. The production design, costuming, and lush landscapes are all outstanding. As someone who has seen most of the films directed by Schnabel, I find him an insightful, astute director, yet I wish he would have introduced more nuance into certain scenes.
The invigorating piano score suffers from an overblown volume at various times. At the pre-release screening, more than a handful of people walked out of the film, midway. I think they were overwhelmed by a dizzy combination of loud music and jumpy, blurred camera techniques. As for me, the approach worked, adding a visceral punch.
Some of the dialogue was culled from Vincent's letters to his brother, and Dafoe rendered the text with a vulnerable immediacy. Several roles were aptly cast, but could have benefited from additional screen time: Isaac (as Gauguin), Almaric (Dr. Gachet), and Seigner (Madame Ginoux).
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