Animation – yes. Film for kids – no! Only because I don’t think they would appreciate the story or the visuals. Brilliantly using the medium of the painter the story is about, the oil paintings used to tell the story will have you under their flowy spell. It is like no other animation I have ever seen. Completely unique just like the man the story is about. Each frame of the film was hand painted by some of the over one hundred artists from Greece and Poland that worked on the film.
The story takes place after the death of artist Vincent Van Gogh. It has been one year since Vincent killed himself. Postman Roulin (voiced by Chris O’Dowd) gets his less than energetic son Armand (voiced by Douglas Booth) to deliver the dead painter’s last letter penned to his now also dead brother Theo (voiced by Cezary Lukaszewicz) to someone close to Vincent. Armand is less than enthused about this, in his opinion, pointless endeavour.
Once in Auvers-sur-Oise Armand seeks a man who knew Vincent well, Dr. Gauchet (voiced by Jerome Flynn). Finding out the doctor is away on business, the frustrated letter deliverer makes the acquaintance of several people who knew the painter well. Not only did many of them know Vincent but they were used as models in his paintings. The more Armand learns of the man from those he left behind the more he becomes intrigued by him. Also, it seems like many things about him do not add up.
The visuals alone will make the film stand the test of time in your memory. If you add on top of it the unknown story of the painter whose work most of us are familiar with then you have a winning combo. Several previous films have attempted to bring to the screen the story of the life of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman have done something no one else has attempted. The film is almost a post mortem of the man’s life. We look at some of the aspects of this troubled man’s life as well as what led up to his death.
In the rehashing of the time just before Vincent’s death the film almost becomes an investigation of what happened. Or what could have happened. Armand becomes intrigued by why a man who was described by those around him as calm and in control would shoot himself in the head. Through the investigation of his death we learn plenty about the man. Several occurrences during his life are gone over like his relationship with family members, romantic entanglements and his work. The visuals are stunning while the story is a dark one.
-4 Collectible Postcards
-The Making of Loving Vincent
-Walking Through Vincent’s Neighborhood
-Beginning the Animation
-Creating the Props
-Interview with Douglas Booth
-Interview with Eleanor Tomlinson
-3 Paintings in 1