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Loving Vincent


Stars: Douglas Booth, Saoirse Ronan, Robert Gulaczyk, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jerome Flynn, Helen McCrory, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Turner, John Sessions, Holly Earl, Josh Burdett

Director: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

A one-of-a-kind labour of love that looks into the last days of painter Vincent Van Gogh. Shot with live actors, the film was then over-painted in oils in the style of Van Gogh himself, by more than 100 contemporary artists.

It's a monumental achievement that took seven years to complete, and not altogether uninteresting as a story either, although the wavering lines of the animated artwork may give you a touch of eyestrain.

All of the actors are quite recognisable: Booth, Dan Leno from The Limehouse Golem, plays a postmaster's son given the assignment of delivering a letter to Van Gogh's brother Theo, whom he finds has also died. He stays to look into artists's final days: as he does so, the film begins to cast doubts as to whether Van Gogh (Gulaczyk), who only took up painting at 28 - he died at 37 - really took his own life.

Suspects in the somewhat puzzling nature of his death include the local doctor (Flynn) who, with his wife and daughter (McCrory, Ronan) befriended the nomadic artist, and a local gun-owning tough who bullied him.

A few anachronisms ' 'Picked up the tab' and 'You think?' - besmirch the dialogue here and there, but the star is naturally the Van Gogh-inspired visuals - a sort of motion capture in oils.

David Quinlan

Poland/UK 2017. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour by DiFactory.
93 minutes. 4 x 3 screen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 08 Oct 2017