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Cinema’s enduring fascination with Vincent van Gogh continues with this impressionistic account of the last few years of the artist’s life. Julian Schnabel brings an artist’s sensibility to the storytelling; Willem Dafoe, Oscar-nominated for his performance, is all angles and anguish as the painter.
There is some overlap here, both in the time period and the immersive approach to capturing Van Gogh’s vision, with the animation Loving Vincent. But rather than work in oils, Schnabel paints with light, most of it yellow. The colour of sunlight and of wheat fields, the strident yellow palette is increasingly tainted until it equally signifies a churning, sulphurous madness.
But for all the feverish visual invention, there’s a sluggishness to the storytelling that seems at odds with the frenzied creativity of the film’s subject. Like Vincent himself, the film loses itself in the landscape of the rural south of France. The risk, however, of these aimless longueurs is that they also lose the audience’s attention.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: At Eternity’s Gate review – Van Gogh biopic fades to grey | Biopics