Stroke of Genius - Loving Vincent (REVIEW)
When I first saw the trailer for this film I knew it was going to be something special to watch. It takes the idea of hand drawn animation to extremes by filming and then painting in the style of Van Gogh frame by frame what was filmed live action. The results are nothing short of stunning. I constantly was in awe of what was on screen. combining surreal environments with recoginizable actors in painted form proved to be a wonderful way to pay homage to Vincent's work and transported you into his mind through paint.
That being said the story wasn't quite as interesting as the visuals on display. The story revolves around the son of the postmaster who is tasked with delivering a letter to Vincent's brother he was unable to send. What unfolds are the stories about Vincent and how he killed himself. Mental illness was a big part of Vincent's life and hearing people talk of how he was cured 6 weeks ago and how could he get so desperate as to kill himself in such a short time becomes the driving force to see what actually caused his death to occur. It's an interesting idea that is vastly overshadowed by it's striking imagery. That at times when diving into the melancholy of Vincent's life really strikes a chord. There are some truly spectacular compositions at times that are like looking at paintings, some of which were based off of ones Vincent had himself painted.
The cinematography and sheer skill of the artists shine in this film, seeing the reflection of a man in a window on a train as a painting was enough to make my mouth fall open at just how incredible that looked. The soundtrack was beautifully scored and lent a delicate tone to the film that did it's best to keep the emotions of the production in tune.
The performances were all quite good but none quite as good as the briefly seen Vincent. However It felt a bit light in heft of the subject matter. People spoke freely and fondly of Vincent most times but there lacked a sense of loss, more just of joy in watching him work or watching him simply make his way in the world. However they never really delivered an emotional punch I thought it might but instead were a bit too preoccupied with the mystery of his death. The flash back sequences were all fascinating and enjoyable as we see the daily life of Vincent through characters eyes but the other half was somewhat lacking by comparison.
As an art project this film succeeds with flying colors. It is incredible to watch and worth looking over just for the small details they put in like making the stars twinkle. However it is somewhat let down by a so so story surrounding a much greater one about Vincent's past.
A lovely tribute to a lovely man