Loving Vincent Will Start Showing at the Votiv Kino December 29th

Loving Vincent recreates van Gogh’s artwork in animated oil paintings

If painters express themselves through their art, biographers are at a disadvantage: they may capture the person, but their message might prove harder. Unless, of course, you make that message the medium. Loving Vincent, a new take on the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, manages just that by employing an entirely novel approach: It’s a film created entirely with oil paintings on canvas, arranged into moving pictures that pay homage to the “father of modern art.”

And truly, the visuals are stunning. In a never-before-used animation technique, 125 painters adapted van Gogh’s most famous works over 6 years to fit the narrative, creating 65,000 tableaux for the characters, animated based on footage of real actors. Paintings like Sunflowers or Portrait of Dr. Gachet blaze in bright colors, often leaving two-dimensional space behind as the camera pans around to establish the scene.

Even though the technique is impressive, the crime drama plot is somewhat uneven and the dialogue bland at times. Especially in the beginning, Loving Vincent is overloaded and disjointed, relying too heavily on excessive flashbacks and extended exposition. The son of a postman, Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), is tasked with delivering a recently rediscovered letter from Vincent van Gogh, dead for a year at this point, to his brother Theo. As Roulin discovers, Theo died half a year after Vincent, making his trusted physician, Paul Gachet, the next-in-line recipient. While awaiting him in Auvers-sur-Oise, van Gogh’s final residence, he starts talking to locals about the painter’s death. Many things seemingly don’t add up and Roulin, initially wary of his task, begins to obsess about uncovering the truth.

“You want to know so much about his death, what do you know about his life?” an infuriated Marguerite Gachet (Saoirse Ronan), a confidant of van Gogh, throws at Armand. She is right: Roulin is chasing the ghost of someone he can’t grasp, conveyed beautifully by the confusion and aggression of Booth’s painted alter ego.

Nobody will ever truly understand what happened to van Gogh in those final days. Loving Vincent doesn’t try to, offering a paean to the deceased instead, a checklist of biographical information and famous pictures to revisit. Only toward the end, when Roulin starts facing his own ghosts and zeroes in on his final suspects, does the movie really grab the viewer and give food for thought. And like the master’s paintings, when Loving Vincent finally does, it stays with you well after the credits have rolled.

Starts Dec 29, Votiv Kino. 9., Währinger Strasse 12. votivkino.at

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

Five Secrets to Safe Cycling in Vienna

How to get started on two wheels.

Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | No Lockdown Planned for October

The coronavirus has arrived in Austria. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including where to get help, information and tips – updated regularly.

Transylvania | Over the River and Through the Woods

With a total area of over 100,000 km2, modern day Transylvania is the largest region of Romania, and, by itself, larger than Austria.

More Current Than Ever, Nina Simone – Four Women Brings Down the House at ...

A stellar cast and memorable songs transports the Civil Rights movement to the #BlackLivesMatter era

Election Fever in Vienna

As the city prepares to go to the polls, the streets are plastered with party propaganda posters. Michael Ludwig will almost certainly remain mayor, but his potential partners are pitching for a piece of power.

Trump Praises Austrian “Forest Cities” With Exploding Trees

With some highly unusual comments meant to put California’s environmental management in a bad light, the U.S. president set off a twitter storm of mockery and once again exposed his ignorance of the world.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.