Loving Vincent Reviewed By Jarred Tito


The Premise
A year after the death of the artist, Vincent van Gogh, Postman Roulin gets his slacker son, Armand, to hand deliver the artist's final letter to his now late brother, Theo, to some worthy recipient after multiple failed postal delivery attempts. Although disdainful of this seemingly pointless chore, Armand travels to Auvers-sure-Oise where a purported close companion to Vincent, Dr. Gachet, lives. Having to wait until the doctor returns from business, Armand meets many of the people of that village who not only knew Vincent, but were apparently also models and inspirations for his art. In doing so, Armond becomes increasingly fascinated in the psyche and fate of Van Gogh as numerous suspicious details fail to add up. However, as Armond digs further, he comes to realize that Vincent's troubled life is as much a matter of interpretation as his paintings and there are no easy answers for a man whose work and tragedy would only be truly appreciated in the future.

The Review
A beautifully told story with animation that will captivate you. Anyone who appreciates the labour of love that fine-art represents and is, will no doubt adore this visual master-piece.  This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest artistic achievements of the modern era.  ‘Loving Vincent’ showcases one of the world’s most recognizable artists in quite possibly the most suitable and defining mediums of our age. I found the whole experience of viewing ‘Loving Vincent’ completely fascinating and mind spinning. The sheer magnitude of the project, including the thousands of hours put into the painted animation alone, would justify any purchase at the box office. Most people in our society would recognize at least one or two Van Gogh paintings, even if they couldn’t put a name to it, most would have seen a painting or a print somewhere. So, when you see these paintings in motion there is a vague notion of familiarity about them. A sense that you are meeting a distant relative or a friend you have not seen for some time. It’s a peculiar feeling. A feeling of knowing someone from the past. A feeling of meeting someone from history that has been transported into our world and is now alive and speaking. Imagine being at the Louvre in Paris, and suddenly the Mona Lisa begins to talk and walk around? Familiar faces, landscapes, places that have been engraved into our folklore and memories, now set the scene for the telling tale of one of the world’s most beloved artists.  

I couldn’t help but wonder in awe at how much time and effort must have gone into each frame. And just in case you were wondering if the film relied on computer generated imagery, it didn’t. Each of the single frames that make up every second of the film was carefully and painstakingly created with paint and brush. Mind blowing. To witness the classics in motion was incredible to say the very least.

The story line or narrative, is a mix of both documented fact and artist story telling license. At times I found myself ‘fact checking’ through the archives of my memories of the Van Gogh story (I once read, ‘A lust for Life’ the biography of Vincent’s life based on his letters to and from his brother Theodor). I was quite satisfied with the facts of the story for most parts.
Though there are lulls in the pace of the film, there is still plenty to enjoy over all. Having said that, I found that the pace of the story began to really pick up from half way through and kept on growing in both intensity and mystery which evoked my curiosity right through to the end.   

The Verdict
Loving Vincent is a must-see film for everyone. I would strongly recommend a viewing in a theater where the visuals can be truly appreciated. It really is a modern-day marvel that also carries a lovely tale of Vincent’s life. I must say that I was quite pleased with the choice of soundtrack too. In particular the ending credits song. Quite fitting and in keeping with the spirit of the film. Incredibly well done.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 8th February 2018
Rating: M – Contains adult themes
Duration: 95 minutes 
Genre:  Animated, Drama
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Aidan Turner, Douglas Booth, Eleanor Tomlinson, Chris O'Dowd, John Sessions, Helen McCrory
Director: Dorota Kobiela ('The Flying Machine'), Hugh Welchman (feature debut)

The Extras
The world's first fully painted animation feature.

Each of the film's 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 100 painters.

It took a team of over 100 professional artists to hand paint every single frame of the movie. According to the official site, the work has resulted in a total of 853 different oil paintings, as each one was used multiple times, painting subsequent frames on the top of the original ones. In the final movie there are exactly 853 different shots.