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With Jim Sabatini

Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent
Douglas Booth and Chris O'Dowd

Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some violence, sexual material and smoking.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: November 7, 2017 Released by: Good Deed Entertainment

The first of its kind, a full-length painted animated feature tries to capture the mystery of Vincent Van Gogh is a little vanilla but glistening given its clash between narrative and visual imagery.

The idea to examine the myth of the 19th Century famed, yet fragile artist — the madness of a genius who found his way into self-mutilation and finally suicide is an interesting one in this UK/Polish production is imaginative from directors Dorota Kubiela and Hugh Welchman. An unusual biopic that unfolds like a rather static, though devout cinematic poem with 65,000 frames enhancing photographs of oil paintings on celluloid from dozens of artists.

Douglas Booth 'plays' a skeptical investigator talking with those close to Van Gogh dispatched by his postmaster dad (Chris O'Dowd) delivering Vincent's final letter (to brother Theo) arriving in Auvers from Arles by train. It must be said that Booth is on the bland side substantiated by the nature of his discourse. That doesn't mean there aren't interesting or 'watchable' folks to interact with in a procedural speculating on the nature of his demise. Or how it may have come about from many talking heads' recollections a year after his 1890 passing.

Included are those who posed for Van Gogh, Saoirse Ronan's Marguerite and Helen McCrory's Louise, as well as an innkeeper's daughter Adeline, infused with charm by Eleanor Tomlinson. Through the depiction of Van Gogh works like 'Sunflowers' and 'Starry Night' the inspiration for the title comes shining through for a medium with a canvas of moving pictures. However, at the expense of trying to clasp onto the mental issues at the core of a man whose art goes beyond explanation.

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Loving Vincent        B-   B+                     B 

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