There is no other film quite like this one.
It utilized 125 painting animators creating 65,000 oil-painted
frames that incorporate 125 of Van Gogh's better-known works, a process
that took ten years to complete. Every
image is artistic. Most are in
the bold, broad-brush style of Vincent Van Gogh; some are purposefully in
black and white to present a stark contrast, but the overall effect is
mesmerizing, and one-of-a-kind dazzling. Visually, this movie is simply
Unfortunately, it all showcases a rather mediocre script with an
unsatisfying ending. The
village postmaster's son, Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), agrees to deliver
Vincent's last letter to his next of kin, his beloved younger brother
Theo. But when Roulin journeys
to Paris, he discovers that Theo died shortly after Vincent.
This drives Roulin to question everyone who knew Vincent, including
his physician, his daughter, the proprietress of the hotel where he
stayed, and even the boatmen along the river, where Vincent was known to
have set up his easel and painted.
What is known is that Vincent Van Gogh died of a gunshot wound, two
days after the shooting. What
is not known is whether it was self-inflicted---though Vincent reportedly
said it was, he may have been covering for someone else.
The motive is also unclear, whether it was murder or suicide.
Though Van Gogh was known to be “troubled,” he'd finally
established himself as a painter (before that, he was, of all things, a
missionary). He completed some
800 works of art in that productive decade, and sold exactly one before he
died. He never knew fame or
fortune, or even professional success.
And yet his work remains unique, even to the untrained eye.
Whether you classify it as “post-Impressionist” or “early
modern” or whatever description you choose, his work defies description.
It's simply wondrous to behold.
The movie ends without a clear answer about Van Gogh's last days,
leaving it to the viewer to surmise what might have actually happened.
If he was murdered, no one was ever charged or arrested.
And neither was the doctor sued for malpractice.
Everybody just shook their heads and went home.
So the nature of his death remains as enigmatic as the mystery of
So what we have here in this movie is the triumph of style over
substance. You won't see
another one quite like it.