Vincent and Theo

Overview

The relationship between the obsessive, brilliant painter Vincent Van Gogh and his more practical brother Theo is at the center of director Robert Altman's well-received biography, originally produced as a miniseries for European television. Now universally acknowledged as masterpieces, Vincent Van Gogh's works were ignored in his lifetime, despite the best efforts of Theo, a struggling gallery owner. When he fails to make a profit from his brother's work, Theo finds himself torn between art and commerce, a ...
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Overview

The relationship between the obsessive, brilliant painter Vincent Van Gogh and his more practical brother Theo is at the center of director Robert Altman's well-received biography, originally produced as a miniseries for European television. Now universally acknowledged as masterpieces, Vincent Van Gogh's works were ignored in his lifetime, despite the best efforts of Theo, a struggling gallery owner. When he fails to make a profit from his brother's work, Theo finds himself torn between art and commerce, a conflict deepened by Vincent's increasing emotional neediness. Soon, the situation worsens, and both brothers are forced to struggle with depression and madness. Altman's distinctive directorial approach avoids clichés, allowing his leads to create contradictory and sometimes unlikable characters. Tim Roth captures Vincent's devotion to his art, his difficult personality, and his descent into mental illness without resorting to histrionics, while Paul Rhys provides equally proficient work as the more repressed Theo. The cinematography by Jean Lepine illuminates the links between Altman's trademark wandering camera and Van Gogh's impressionistic painting style.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Robert Altman's moody, grungy vision of the brothers van Gogh, made for British television, opens with televised footage of the historic, multi-million dollar auction of van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and proceeds to de-mythologize van Gogh, from his ear-slashing incident to his impudent relationship with Paul Gaugin (Vladimir Yordanoff). In the hands of Tim Roth, van Gogh's legendary eccentricities (paint-eating, epileptic twitches) are reduced to mere mannerisms, as natural to the character as his shuffling gait and distant gaze. Citing the director's stance as a Hollywood expatriate for most of the 1980s, some critics saw the film as a bitter Altman riff on art, commerce, and neglected genius. But Altman rarely resorts to self-pity or comeuppance: his Vincent is an insular, instinctive loner who manages to alienate anyone close to him, save for his dedicated brother Theo (Paul Rhys). Rhys' neurotic, ambitious art dealer gives the picture some footing, and he lends credence to the script's conceit that the siblings shared an almost telepathic relationship. Altman took some license with the film's painting scenes -- he plops van Gogh, canvas and all, in the middle of fields of sunflowers -- but the sequences have a buzzy, inebriated energy as shot by Jean Lepine. Vincent and Theo works well as a counterpoint to Vincente Minnelli's and Kirk Douglas' sprightly 1956 conception of the artist, Lust for Life.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/24/2015
  • UPC: 887090093408
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:18:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 5,050

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Roth Vincent van Gogh
Paul Rhys Theodore van Gogh
Kitty Courbois
Jip Wijngaarden Sien Hoornik
Johanna ter Steege Jo Bonger
Jean-Pierre Cassel Dr. Paul Gachet
Vladimir Yordanoff Paul Gauguin
Anne Canovas Marie
Bernadette Giraud Marguerite Gachet
Adrian Brine Uncle Cent
Jean-François Perrier Dr. Paul Gachet
Vincent Vallier Rene Valadon
Hans Kesting Andries Bonger
Technical Credits
Robert Altman Director
Stephen Altman Production Designer
Ludi Boeken Producer
Scott Bushnell Costumes/Costume Designer
Francois Coispeau Editor
Dominique Douret Art Director
Jean Lepine Cinematographer
Julian Mitchell Screenwriter
Geraldine Peroni Editor
Jan Roelfs Art Director
Pierre Siore Set Decoration/Design
Ben Van Art Director
Gabriel Yared Score Composer
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