Loving Vincent (2017)

loving vincent poster 2017 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking and interesting

English actors in a movie about French people kind of throws you

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Loving Vincent

Studio:  BreakThru Films

Genre(s):   Animated/Drama

Release Date(s):   June 12, 2017 (Annecy)/October 13, 2017 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

loving vincent animated van gogh crows

Finding beauty in crows

Vincent van Gogh has been dead for a year.  When a letter to his brother surfaces, Joseph Roulin pushes his son Armand to deliver the letter to his brother Theo.  Discovery Theo is dead, Armand begins to question what happened to Van Gogh who appeared to be getting better.  Now, Armand questions if Vincent van Gogh committed suicide or if something else happened to the troubled artist.

Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, Loving Vincent is an animated historical murder mystery surrounding Van Gogh’s death.  The movie was released to critical acclaim and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.

Vincent van Gogh’s life is one of those things you hear about.  Art history teachers love to tell the story of a tortured, unrecognized soul who died from a self-inflicted wound and never was the success he later became in his death.  Here, a completely different timeline of events is presented and it becomes an interesting blend of unconfirmed stories and historical events.

loving vincent animated oil paintings armand roulin

Searching for the truth

Loving Vincent takes its plot in two way.  It takes the old idea of depression (if a person appears fine, they are fine), and it also explores the idea that Vincent van Gogh was killed…possibly accidentally or intentionally.  While the murder/mystery aspect of Van Gogh’s death is interesting, it is an idea that has been debated.  The more realistic view that Van Gogh had swings of depression combined with impulsive behavior (like with his ear) shows a man who easily could have decided to kill himself if pushed.  It also appears in the movie that the town, the people, and even some of his friends might have been a force pushing against him.

The movie is oddly cast with a bunch of English and Irish actors playing the French characters.  Even though the movie is in English, I questioned if the characters should have at least had a French accent instead of sometimes rather heavy English accents.  It doesn’t take you out of the movie, but it doesn’t necessarily make sense.

loving vincent armand roulin the sower

Saying goodbye to Vincent’s world

Loving Vincent is really all about the visuals, and it is an amazing animated movie.  The picture is entirely oil painting and the oil painting combined with a weird rotoscope style of animation.  What is also amazing is that the movie is set in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings and often takes little scenes from them for the setting and background.  Van Gogh’s paintings were really about flow and movement and it is good to see them actually move.

Loving Vincent isn’t very long but it is memorable.  In the set-up and approach, it feels a little like Richard Linklater’s Waking Life which also featured a character exploring and talking to people (though Loving Vincent is much more plot driven).  Though it lost at the Oscars, if the animated movie category was based simply on visuals, Loving Vincent would have walked away hands down.

Related Links:

The 90th Academy Award Nominations

At Eternity’s Gate (2018)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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