Home / Arts & Life / Review: ‘Loving Vincent’ Paints van Gogh in His Own Images

Review: ‘Loving Vincent’ Paints van Gogh in His Own Images


An animated van Gogh, portrayed by Robert Gulaczyk, in “Loving Vincent.”

Good Deed Entertainment

“Loving Vincent” addresses its subject, the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, with two what-ifs — one marvelous and fantastical, the other empirical and pedestrian. What if his paintings, with their wild colors and vibrant brush strokes, had been able to move? And what if the bullet that killed him had been fired by someone else?

A long and arduous labor of love by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, the film turns van Gogh’s work into an unusual kind of biopic. Using tens of thousands of oil paintings commissioned from scores of artists, the filmmakers transform famous works of modern art into a hypnotic and beguiling cartoon. The people van Gogh rendered on canvas — the provincial French functionaries, doctors, barmaids and farmers immortalized on museum walls — are brought to uncanny life, with the voices of professional actors, some of them well known.


Chris O’Dowd gives voice to a village postmaster in “Loving Vincent.”

Good Deed Entertainment

They participate in a meandering detective story. Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), the layabout son of a village postmaster (Chris O’Dowd), is instructed by his father to deliver a letter to Vincent’s brother Theo. Armand travels to Paris and then to Auvers-sur-Oise, the northern French town where Vincent died, leaving behind contradictory memories among the people he painted in his final years. They recall a passionate, hard-working artist, but not always the tormented, suicidal genius of legend.


Trailer: ‘Loving Vincent’

An international trailer.

By MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT on Publish Date September 21, 2017.

Image courtesy of Internet Video Archive.

Watch in Times Video »

That legend has been sustained by earlier movies, notably Vincente Minnelli’s rumbustious “Lust for Life” (with Kirk Douglas as van Gogh) and Robert Altman’s more cerebral “Vincent & Theo” (starring Tim Roth and Paul Rhys as the brothers).

Vincent himself (Robert Gulaczyk) is a more elusive presence in “Loving Vincent,” since most of its action is posthumous and self-portraits make up a relatively small part of his oeuvre. There are flashbacks, but the painter is evoked mainly through the dialogue of the other characters, as if he were the Maltese Falcon.

The principal mystery is the stuff of police procedural, as Armand doggedly tries to reconstruct van Gogh’s final weeks and shed light on the circumstances of his death. How miserable was he, and why? What secrets did he harbor? What enemies had he made?

Continue reading the main story

About admin

Check Also

Hear the Best Albums and Songs of 2023

Dear listeners, In the spirit of holiday excess and end-of-the-year summation, we’re about to make …