A still from the movie Loving Vincent, the first ever fully painted feature film.
A still from the movie Loving Vincent, the first ever fully painted feature film. Supplied

MOVIE REVIEW: Movie magic as Van Gogh art comes alive

FINALLY, with Loving Vincent we have a movie that makes an exhibition of itself in all the right ways.  

On display for your considered and complete perusal is not just the art of the late Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, but the essence of the man himself.  

An ethereal hybrid of biopic, drama and investigative mystery, Loving Vincent is quite unlike anything seen on screen before.  

A scene from the movie Loving Vincent, the first ever fully painted feature film.
A scene from the movie Loving Vincent, the first ever fully painted feature film. Supplied

This is, in fact, the first-ever entirely hand-painted movie. Co-directors Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela re-staged the final phase of Van Gogh's life leading up to his death in 1890, and filmed it with real actors, sets and costumes.  

After shooting was complete, the 65,000 frames of footage were delivered to a team of over 100 artists, who then painted over each image in the style of Van Gogh.  

The end result is both captivatingly beautiful and slightly disarming. It's like having fallen asleep in a gallery, you awake to find the oils from Van Gogh's paintings have slid off their canvasses and filled the air around you.  

The lasting achievement of Loving Vincent is the assured and accessible ease with which it communicates the singular visual language of Van Gogh.  

Saoirse Ronan in a scene from the movie Loving Vincent.
Saoirse Ronan in a scene from the movie Loving Vincent. Supplied

It almost does not matter that the story the movie has chosen to tell can often be hard to follow.  

A quick study of Van Gogh's Wikipedia bio would be advised if you really wish to get the most from the plotting, which at some points trades in the contentious theory that the artist may not have perished at his own hand after all.  

 

Loving Vincent

Stars: Eleanor Tomlinson, Jerome Flynn, Saoirse Ronan, Chris O'Dowd, John Sessions, Aidan Turner, Helen McCrory.  

Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman  

Rating: M  

Verdict: 4 stars  

News Corp Australia


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