- Critic's Rating - 8.0/108/10
If reincarnation is a reality then I will like to live it as a Polish film maker. I believe GOD is partial to Poland. How else do I explain Loving Vincent? A nation where an onslaught of penury has swallowed prosperity; adversity has failed to conceal excellence.
Loving Vincent is Poland’s gift to cinema. The country has never ceased to amaze the world. Once we pull the focus through the foggy ruins of time, memories of a Decalogue series, a Pianist appear on the threshold of our consciousness. Vincent Van Gogh receives a befitting tribute through this biographical animated drama.
The creative battery of the film employs 115 classically trained painters to create 65,000 frames. These frames are oil paintings reminiscent of the technique summoned by Gogh. The film is a beautiful mosaic of emotions. The film explores Vincent through the lenses of Armand, who isn’t generous to Vincent’s prodigious artistry. Nevertheless, as the film progresses Armand has a change of heart.
Driven by the love for his father, Armand reluctantly accepts to deliver the last letter written by Vincent to his brother Theo. Roulin, Armand’s father is marred by advancing years and his son is the fulcrum on which Roulin’s hope hinges. Armand embarks on a voyage that alters his opinion of Vincent forever. He visits Auvers-sur-Oise and meets Pere Tanguy, AdelineRavoux, Dr. Mazery, Marguerite and her father Dr. Gachet, among others.
Eccentricity was Vincent’s middle name nevertheless, they are unanimous in accepting Vincent’s wizardry on the canvas. We are briefly led to believe that mystery shrouds Vincent’s death and Dr. Gachet is a suspect. Gatchet had a showdown with Vincent before his death and this leads Armand to confront Gatchet. However; Gatchet enlightens Armand and confesses that he launched an acerbic verbal assault on Vincent and blamed him for his brother Theo’s failing financial health.
It was this jibe that broke Vincent’s spirit and he chose death over a life of oblivion and failure. In the course of their conversation Armand learns that Gatchet was a failed artist and he envied Vincent’s Midas Touch with the brush. Finally, Armand places the letter at Gatchet’s command and leaves. Later, Roulin receives a letter from Theo’s widow signed Loving Vincent.
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Directors, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman walk a tight-rope and the thin line between surrealism and reality never blurs. The poignant story-telling doesn’t allow animation to rob the film of its theme that deconstructs the eternal whirlpool of hypocritical obeisance. The unanswered question that was never lost in the ravages of time surfaces again to trouble mankind-Why materialism could never be a gardener of excellence?