The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
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It's the late nineteenth century. Adult Dutch brothers Vincent Van Gogh and Theo Van Gogh, living in Paris, lead differing lives despite having art as a connection. Vincent, who sticks to his principles which includes believing in God but not religion, wants to be a full time painter, living in squalor for his art. Theo, who works in an art gallery, lives for the moment, he selling art which he doesn't much like to lead a comfortable life. One other area of commonality between the brothers is easily succumbing to pleasures of the flesh. Theo does not sell Vincent's art, as he knows it is not in demand. Vincent's view of his brother does not change when he learns it is Theo, and not their father which he had previously thought, who is supporting him. Each brother is a tortured soul - in Vincent's case, it considered in some circles as madness - which affects how each deals with his respective life. Beyond the several sexual relationships each has, some key moments and more extended ... Written by
Originally designed to be a four-hour mini-series for the BBC. Robert Altman and writer Julian Mitchell were able to pare it down to two and a half hours by focusing on Van Gogh's last years. See more »
"Vincent and Theo" invents one sordid and revolting scene after another and succeeds only in cheapening the legacy of both Vincent and his brother Theo. Though distinctly argumentative and quirky, Vincent was exceedingly well read and well spoken, and had a deeply thoughtful and intellectual rationale for his passionate art, while Theo was an intelligent and personable individual who was successful and highly regarded. Both brothers are ruthlessly sullied and presented as pathetic individuals without any positive attributes in this horrid film. As another reviewer noted, the art works presented in this film are amateur cartoons of the originals, which is certainly not an insignificant detail in a film about a great artist. To understand Vincent and his brother Theo as complex and remarkable individuals, read "Van Gogh: The Life" by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, a brilliantly researched and eloquently written biography, which is like living with Vincent through nearly every day of his entire life, enabled through the many letters preserved, not just between the brothers but among Vincent's entire family and other artists as well. The 1956 film, "Lust for Life", while admittedly quaint, offers a much more accurate biographical sketch in representing the significant life events of Vincent Van Gogh, and more accurately reveals the complexity of the characters. Further, "Lust for Life", uses actual reproductions of all of the original artwork presented, adding up to a very enjoyable and insightful film. "Vincent and Theo" is a ghastly, cheap horror flick that panders with its base vulgarity and is successful only in defiling the complex and fascinating story of Vincent and his beloved brother Theo.
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