Review / ‘Loving Vincent’ (PG) ****.

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THE amazing story of the creativity underlying this beautiful animation has been told elsewhere. Suffice it for me to say that its craft ensures for writers/directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman a unique place transcending all other animation and CGI in the annals of cinema.

The story’s main character died a year before the film’s events. Vincent van Gogh’s place in history is unshakeable. Art experts consider his more than 800 paintings in a short career are the foundation for modern art. In his lifetime, van Gogh sold only one painting!

To summarise a true story founded on impressive scholarship, I quote from the International Movie Database: “A year after the death of the artist … 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.

“Armand meets many of the people of that village who not only knew Vincent, but were apparently also models and inspirations for his art” and “comes to realise 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 lyric of Don McLean’s hauntingly lovely song backing the film’s excellent closing credits (don’t leave until they finish) – encapsulates Vincent’s anguish.

And now I understand what you tried to say to me

How you suffered for your sanity

How you tried to set them free.

They would not listen

They did not know how

Perhaps they’ll listen now.

At Palace Electric, Capital 6

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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