DVD Review: Loving Vincent

STUDIO: Cinedigm | DIRECTORS: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman | CAST: Chris O’Down, Saoirse Ronan, John Sessions, Helen McCrory, Aidan Turner
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 16, 2017 | PRICE: DVD $14.19, Blu-ray $16.14
BONUSES: making-of featurette, interviews, more
SPECS: PG-13 | 94 min. | Animated crime drama | 1.33:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall

There’s no absence of effort in Loving Vincent, a gorgeous but ultimately disappointing salute to the life and uncertain death of artist Vincent van Gogh.

The film is a visual spectacle that took seven years to complete as 125 artists hand-painted over 60,000 frames of film, all reflecting Van Gogh’s work and style. The film unspools as a continuous swirl of colors and shapes and different shades while the primary characters (played by the likes of The IT Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd and Brooklyn’s Saoirse Ronan) are rotoscoped to fit into the sensory overloaded world of the film.

While the film’s look is something to behold, the narrative of the film, alas, doesn’t live up to its visuals. The story unfolds Citizen Kane-like with an investigation into Van Gogh’s death in 1890 a year following his apparent suicide. The particulars of Van Gogh’s death are questioned by the postmaster’s son, and soon people connected come forward offering different, sometimes conflicting versions of what may have happened and their relationships with the troubled artist and his art dealer brother Theo.

For all of its on-screen excitement and remarkable pictorial accomplishments, Loving Vincent remains dramatically inert throughout. Perhaps the procedural is overwhelmed by the images, which make the personal and mystery elements seem pale in comparison.

Still, Loving Vincent will win favor with art enthusiasts, sophisticated audiences and animation fans as it presents an impressive but flawed vision of an artist whose life and work have intrigued scores of admirers throughout the decades.

Buy or Rent Loving Vincent

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.