The story is told entirely through 12 of his own paintings; unlike any Van Gogh film before it, this is a production the world didn’t know it needed.
Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, it is the first film in cinematic history to be animated entirely in oil paint. The process took seven years to perfect, over 100 artists and 65,000 painted frames, making the Polish-UK film a work of art itself.
Friend of Van Gogh (Robert Gulaczyk), Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) goes to Auvere, France to return a letter signed by Van Gogh and piece together what took place in the days leading up to his mysterious suicide.
The characters in the film are true subjects in several of Van Gogh’s masterpieces. The actors are painted to resemble the paintings and Van Gogh’s subjects. The technique falls somewhere between animation and live action, something original and remarkable to witness.
In signature fashion, the scenes use quite a bit of Van Gogh’s trademark yellow and blue hues, while others use black and white – a symbolic contrast of the prolific artwork and the darkness that consumed the man.
Complaints, if any, is that you can lose yourself in the beauty of the film, missing the storyline. It would be good to watch this one a second time to take everything in.
The impact is heavy, leaving the audience silently sitting still, five minutes into the credits; not sure whether to clap, cry, or both.
This is one to watch out for come award season.
Rating: 5/5 Stars