Opens 2 November

Director: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

2017/UK, Poland/94min/Classification tba

On 27th July 1890 a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers. The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly. This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little known artist; now the most famous artist in the world. His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot. Loving Vincent tells that story.

The world’s first fully painted animation feature, Loving Vincent, is an absolute passion project designed to explore the mystery of Vincent van Gogh’s death at the age of only 37.

An awkward yet sensitive man who was a misfit within his own family, he seemed to have found his place in world with work and fellow artists. A falling out with Paul Gaugin left him inconsolable and led to the infamous ear cutting incident.

Seeking treatment, Vincent retreats to the village of Auvers-sur-Ovise for what becomes the final six weeks of his life.

The film takes place a year on from his death with a young man entrusted with Vincent’s final letter to his brother Theo. He discovers Theo has also died so he travels to the village to find out more about Vincent’s last days.

I haven’t seen anything quite like this before. Each image is hand painted meaning that 65,000 frames were created to make this film. A team of over 100 artists in worked to create these in van Gogh’s own style.

The characters in the film have been inspired by those who appeared in van Gogh’s works, some of the scenes are essentially re-enactments of his paintings, but brought to life. Flashbacks are told in black and white sequences which sets them apart from the vibrant colours of the rest of the story.

Both a fascinating tale and a visual delight, make sure you stay for the end credits.

RATING: 4 out of 5,
Reviewed by Suzanne Worner

NOTES: At the conclusion of filming, 853 paintings remained – completed “shots” that comprised the film. They are currently being sold online from approx 2500 euro