It has to be judged as a film, not as a series of oil paintings
Loving Vincent is a remarkable piece of filmmaking that breaks fascinating new ground in the way films are created. With over 100 individual artists and over 16,000 oil paintings, the film is a triumph in its innovative makeup and style.
However, there is a big negative that cannot be covered up by the brush strokes and oil paint. Loving Vincent fails to stand up as a complete film. With poor shot composition and a fairly straight sense of creation within the frame, it often feels like no more than a 90’s point and click adventure.
The storyline tracks Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) as he searches for the truth of Vincent van Gogh’s death. Thought to be suicide, Roulin travels the country meeting those closest to him as he becomes embroiled in the mystery that surrounded the artist’s final days.
It has to be judged as a film, not as a series of oil paintings, for if it were a standard production there would certainly be huge scrutiny on the shot creation. The paintings very much save the picture, but they do not make it great. The obvious limitations that the paintings bring act as a vicious circle against the original filming, inhibiting Loving Vincent from reaching its full potential.
Nevertheless, it’s a tremendous effort but not something that will blow minds immediately. Watching the backgrounds move and change is where the real feeling comes from, something standard animation will never be able to replicate. This gives Loving Vincent a decidedly personal touch, and a plays as a touching homage to van Gogh and his life.
Loving Vincent is hugely passionate about it’s subject and is fascinating as a previously untold storyline. It certainly has it’s limits, but generally, it’s an intriguing and quirky film with much to admire.