Film Review: Loving Vincent

“Loving Vincent” is a story of one artist told in over a 100,000 paintings and will transport you inside of a Vincent Van Gogh painting for 94 minutes.

“Loving Vincent” tells the story of the journey of a letter written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo and is set a year after his death. The letter is to be hand delivered by Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) the son of postman Joseph Roulin (Chris O’Dowd). Upon travelling to Van Gogh’s final place of residence, Roulin investigates the last weeks of Vincent’s life and the circumstances of his death.

The creation of “Loving Vincent” is somewhat mind blowing, as it is the first fully painted feature film, with every frame an oil painting created by a team of over 100 artists. The style of each hand painted frame is a wonderful homage capturing the style of the artist himself. This set the film apart from anything that has come before it and could be considered to further the story and really immerse the viewer in the world of Van Gogh. However, in some parts it may become distracting for some members of the audience, as it is a very distinctive style of painting and may take away from the story.

“Loving Vincent” is a slow paced film that could prove uninteresting for audience members that don’t have an interest in the subject or prefer faster paced films. On the other hand, if you don’t mind slow pacing, the story told within the film is an interesting look into the uncertain circumstances surrounding Van Gogh’s death and the different scenarios that may have led up to the moment of his death. The film features Roulin interviewing different characters on his quest to find out what really happened to Van Gogh during his stay in Auvers-sure-Oise. Each interview serves as a different perspective on the artist and helps to piece together the details of the last weeks of Van Gogh’s life and who he was as a person.

The film attempts to give a well-rounded picture of Vincent Van Gough as a person and explore details of his life and surrounding environment. For some, the ending of “Loving Vincent” may seem unsatisfactory, as there is no closure or real resolution when it comes to Vincent Van Gogh’s death and the details from the accounts of the characters that don’t quite match up.

Overall, “Loving Vincent” is a triumph artistically and is beautifully crafted but is generally a somewhat unfulfilling film.

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