Loving Vincent: Movie Review
On September 22nd, 2017, the world’s first fully hand-painted feature film, Loving Vincent, was released to the U.S.A. The movie was first filmed in live action and then hand painted by a team of over 100 artists in the distinct, broad-stroked, flowing, and vivid style of Van Gogh’s.
The story of this film takes place a year after Van Gogh’s death, which was presumed suicide. Armand Roulin, son of Van Gogh’s old postman, a good friend of Van Gogh, is instructed by his father to deliver a letter found of Van Gogh’s to his brother, Theo, only to find out that he is dead. Armand decided that the letter would be best left in the hands of his old doctor, Dr. Gachet. While waiting to see the doctor, Armand finds himself talking to the local villagers about Van Gogh’s story. With each new piece of information, Armand becomes more and more fascinated with Van Gogh’s death, and tries to piece together the truth.
This curious murder mystery is based on a real conspiracy theory about Van Gogh’s death being a homicide rather than suicide. It forces you to question and put pieces together yourself, given the information from the movie, but ultimately, like in reality, the mystery is never officially solved.
Although the plot could have been planned out better and a little less scattered, it was interesting to see each individual’s perspective and view of Vincent as they knew him. Before seeing the movie I would recommend getting more background about Van Gogh by reading a couple of online biographies. Having that background knowledge will help the viewer keep track of the plot a lot easier.
The craftsmanship of this film was absolutely extraordinary. After getting used to the scattered animation, you cannot help but sit in awe of the amount of work and time it must have taken to paint each shot. The talented artists were able to capture the subtle expressions of the original actors perfectly. Even the movement of smoke, or reflections in glass were spectacularly displayed.
You can check out more about the film at lovingvincent.com, which features paintings and key frames from the film, based off of Van Gogh’s own paintings, including character portraits, and the full trailer. The DVD is now available for pre-order at amazon.co.uk and will be released on February 18, 2018.
Featured banner image: ‘Portrait of Armand Roulin’ by Vincent Van Gogh