Loving Vincent (Blu-ray)

March 15, 2018 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Labeling itself as the first oil painting based film, Loving Vincent was created by over 100 artists who recreated the paintings of Vincent van Gough. The film uses these paintings to tell its story which offers a bit (maybe too much at times) of speculation as to what led to Van Gough’s death. It’s certainly a visual treat for the eyes, and the murder style mystery of the plot is fairly intriguing even if the effect wears thin before the closing credits.

One year after Vincent van Gough’s suicide, his brother Theo receives a letter from Vincent that changes the perspective a bit. In the letter, van Gough explains how things are fine, his mood being calm and normal. This creates speculation that there was in fact more to his death than meets the eye. When it’s discovered that Theo has died as well, Armand Roulin (who is tasked with delivering the letter) begins to try and piece together this death. The rest of the film follows Armand seeking answers, interviewing several people who were close to Vincent to try and get answers. This murder/suicide style investigation does sound more enticing than it actually is in the film. To be fair, I can see where the filmmakers were going, but it lost me a bit before the film ended. Let’s not overlook just how amazing the film looks, however, but even that only takes us so far.

Fans of Vincent van Gough’s paintings or the artist himself will be the main target audience for the film. I just couldn’t help but feel like some of the gimmick wore thin a bit early. It is a visual treat, and certainly a sight to behold, but it just gets meandering before long. Fans should be pleased with the results here as it looks amazing on Blu-Ray and some quality features will please fans. I just wonder how casual audiences will respond. All things considered, it certainly breaks new ground in terms of visuals.

Video: How’s it look?

When viewing a film of this sort, you expect the visuals to be on point, and indeed they are. We get an AVC encoded 1.37:1 transfer that presents the film with the strong visuals that accompany it. The details are evident throughout, naturally presenting the images brought to life by the artists. I have no qualms with this transfer.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a pretty straightforward DTS HD track. Largely consisting of dialogue with the main character seeking answers that should give an idea of what to expect here. Still, there’s a crisp sound to the vocals that is all one can ask for.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • The Making of Loving Vincent (22.24) – Is a great behind the scenes look at the making of the film which gives nice insight into the process.
  • Walking through Vincent’s neighborhood – Goes for just about 1 minute, but still worth a look.
  • Beginning the Animation (4:43) – Shows some of the live action work that went into the film.
  • Creating the Props (2:24) – The production designer gives us some insight.
  • Interview with Douglas Booth (13:43) – is more of the same, offering your usual interview tidbits.
  • Interview with Eleanor Tomlinson (1:47)
  • 3 paintings in 1 – We see how one brief scene combined three paintings.
  • Trailer

The Bottom Line

The visuals behind this film are breathtaking to say the least. The story maintained my interest to a point, but I just grew tired of it after a while. Fans of Vincent van Gough should definitely seek it out, but casual audiences might rent it with reservations.

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