Review: Loving Vincent

November 24, 2017

If you love Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, you’ll love ‘Loving Vincent’. This enchanting animated film portrays the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh, as well as the stories behind some of his most famous paintings.

As you focus on one of the bold paint strokes of a green bush, it comes alive, you are there, hidden in the swaying yellow field of wheat. Your gaze follows the movement of the gentle wind to the distant Cyprus. Blue-grey clouds are changing their shape above. A figure, at first hidden, materialises life-size onto the screen. Of course, almost forgot, you are in a movie theatre, you are looking at a screen.

The narrative of the film takes place after the death of Vincent. The postmaster’s son is on a mission to deliver a letter to Theo, Vincent’s brother. Intrigued by the conflicting accounts surrounding Vincent’s death, the son’s journey takes him through Vincent’s life and paintings. The paintings are ranging from Vincent’s bedroom in Arles, Toulouse Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge, the landscape behind Saint-Paul Hospital, the Terrace Café at night and of course the Starry Night over the Rhone, to name just a few. Vincent fans are treated to a sumptuous journey of visual delight. To think that of the 800 paintings he only sold one. Makes you pause and contemplate, doesn’t it?

Over one hundred animators worked on this amazing Polish co-production. Actors such as Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, Aidan Turner, Jerome Flynn and Chris O’Dowd lent their voices. The directors are Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. It was first released in the UK in 2017. The film runs for one hour and thirty-five minutes. It screens currently in Brisbane.

Herlinde Cayzer

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