At Eternity’s Gate – 3

Unwatchable. Director Julian Schnabel gives us a portrait not of an artist, always hard to do, but of a tortured soul. In the name of art, his art not van Gogh’s, he uses a hand-held camera, bounces between French and English, repeats voice-over dialogue and shoots a lot of scenes ostensibly through Vincent’s eyes. But he tells us nothing about Vincent’s background, perhaps assuming we all know the man from prior movies, books and exhibitions. Everything comes across as amateurish, even the paintings. Willem Dafoe is miscast by 30 years, and Oscar Isaac’s Paul Gauguin made me ask, “Are you serious?” We left after an hour.

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