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The main poster image is based on one of Vincent van Gogh's last self portraits, done after he sliced off a piece of his ear.
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The Van Gogh paintings in progress in the movie are done by Wiilem Dafoe (playing Vincent), Julian Schnabel (the director and a painter himself) and Edith Baudrand (painter for the art department in this movie and an independent artist herself).
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The way Theo van Gogh's name is pronounced in this movie is the accurate Dutch way to pronounce his name.
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Willem Dafoe is the second actor to be nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for playing Vincent van Gogh, after Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life (1956).
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In reality, Paul Gauguin was 5 years older than Vincent Van Gogh. Willem Dafoe (Vincent) is 23 years older than Oscar Isaac (Gauguin).
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Willem Dafoe was born William, but uses his nickname Willem. Willem was also Vincent van Gogh's middle name.
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Features the only Best Actor Oscar nominated performance of the year in a film not nominated for Best Picture.
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The film premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival where Willem Dafoe won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. Olivia Colman, his co-star in Murder on the Orient Express (2017), won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress the very same year for her role in The Favourite (2018).
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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.
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Crazy Credits The film is dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa. Azzedine Alaïa was a French (born Tunesian) couturier who was very popular amongst performing artists. Julian Schnabel was a good friend of Alaïa: "The movie is dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa. I was with him one week before he died. He was a great artist in fashion--I did three paintings of Azzedine over the years."
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Mads Mikkelsen and Mathieu Amalric have both played the Bond villains in Daniel Craig James Bond films.
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Since neither Willem Dafoe nor Julian Schnabel spoke fluent French, it was decided that most of the dialogue would be in English. The first scene is in French, to establish the setting and tone. After that, the dialogue only shifts to French when Vincent feels threatened, such as when he is surrounded by the schoolchildren. Vincent van Gogh spoke poor French, and was often mocked for it. Using French dialogue in those scenes heightened Vincent's feeling of alienation from the people around him.
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The film portrays the theory proposed by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, authors of the 2011 biography "Van Gogh: The Life". They argue that Vincent van Gogh did not shoot himself on July 27, 1890. Instead, they believe he was accidentally shot by a friend's 16-year-old brother.
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