Loving Vincent – ☆☆☆☆☆
Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
Writers: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Jacek Dehnel
Starring: Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, Helen McCrory
Summary: A hand painted animated story of the events that followed after Vincent Van Gogh’s death.
This had to be one of the most highly anticipated movies for myself and really for any one else who can appreciate the sheer brilliance and absurdity of this concept: an entire film hand painted in the style of Van Gogh.
As an artist myself, I instantly connected with this film, and this was long before I saw it. Years of people turning their noses at fine artists, spouting comments that they’ll never amount to much as an artist was thrown back at them with the news of Loving Vincent. Finally, a chance for talent to shine and be a part of something revolutionary. They are the stars of the film, and although they aren’t front and center, it is every brush stroke of their work that forms every frame of this brilliant film which speaks for them on screen.
But don’t let it be the aspect of the hand painted animation be the only reason you see Loving Vincent. Surreal and vivid cinematic transitions created through this art form shapes the story of this film, that drew me in from the beginning. To see a film that is so aesthetically pleasing as this one, one wouldn’t expect to pin it into category of detective stories, at least that’s not how I perceived it to be when it’s trailer was first released.
As the story is focused on piecing together the mystery of how Vincent Van Gogh died, you’re treated to a real immersive story that has you questioning a few things about Van Gogh’s past, and perhaps even filling you in on facts you may not have known. It features a real homage to some Van Gogh classics, many recognizable to even those who may not be as art savvy and also features key characters in Van Gogh’s life, who were brought to life by some familiar faces such as Saoirse Ronan and Helen McCrory.
Loving Vincent gives you a renewed love and appreciation for Van Gogh, the man and his work. I thought I knew him, through his work that I studied in my Fine Art days, but how wrong was I, I felt as though I was getting to know someone and miss them as well. For artists, this film has a soft spot in many hearts, and resonates greatly to anyone who’s a creative about an artist’s struggle. I couldn’t help feel inspired, as though a rush of artistic brilliance had run through me, and reminded me why I fell in love with what I do, and what I have done. For the future of film and animation, Loving Vincent is groundbreaking and game changing. It will not surprise me to see in the future the standard of film rising higher than ever with the intervention of innovative work as this film in the league of classics. I highly anticipate it in the Oscars, and if not, then the Academy is regrettably on the wrong side of film history.