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 film was shot over 38 days on location in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône and Auvers-sur-Oise, France, all locations where Van Gogh lived during his final years. See more »
@ approx :35 into the movie, van Gogh is lying in a hospital bed after being beaten up. The en d of a pillow at the right hand side of the image shows a 21st century soft goods tag. 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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