Friday, 23 March 2018

Loving Vincent: Film Review

Loving Vincent: Film Review


Vocal Cast: Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Chris O'Dowd, Saorise Ronan, Helen McCrory, John Sessions
Directors: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

Unfairly robbed of the 2018 Academy Award for the best animated picture, Loving Vincent deserves credit for blazing a trail and being innovative - even if its story holds it back.
Loving Vincent: Film Review

Told through rotoscoping (as used in the likes of A Scanner Darkly), it's the story of a Postman's son who comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist's final letter and ends up investigating his final days there.

While Van Gogh is believed to have committed suicide, Armond begins to believe that Vincent was murdered rather than what was the conventional wisdom.

Using swirling imagery and in the style of Van Gogh's works proves to be a masterstroke for Loving Vincent, and the work done by the hundred-plus animators on the film literally drips from the screen.

Images dance from the screen, enlivened by the flicker of the projection - and while occasionally it feels a little like some of the big names stand out more, looking like animated entrants into Van Gogh's paintings themselves, the film's visual are awe-inducing, and the best way to celebrate Van Gogh's work.
Loving Vincent: Film Review

It very much feels like the paintings have been brought to life in front of you.

But unfortunately, some of the leaps of the story-telling and the narrative don't allow the film to provide the depth it's aiming for unfortunately.

Weaving in people doesn't harm, but the story barely progresses beyond its shocking idea that the death was misunderstood - and occasionally some of the scenes feel a little like they've been shot in front of a screen, and edited into the paintings style to continue the effect.

Ultimately, the emotional depth (or lack thereof) of Loving Vincent is what lets it down - its visuals are astounding and the oil painting aesthetic has truly raised the bar for what animation could do.

It's just a shame that the narrative couldn't keep up.

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