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Vincent & Theo (1990)
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- Featurette: Film as Fine Art with Robert Altman and Stephen Altman
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Top Customer Reviews
Both Tim Roth and Paul Rhys give exquisite, painful, but never over the top performances as two men who are intimately linked in a way that suggests something more than mere brotherhood. Outwardly they have very little in common aside from being biologically linked: Theo is an art curator who endures the daily trials of the average man with perhaps a little more poverty; Vincent is an isolated painter who operates from an area of the mind and spirit which allows him no rest and no integration into society.
Tim Roth's Van Gogh is a quietly explosive figure who walks in the avenues of his own unrelenting pain and occasional ecstasy at the revelations he has in the most uncanny situations--drawing a prostitue while defecating, for instance. He is in some ways the opposite of Kirk Douglas' overbearing, sentimental painter who begs the world to understand him. This Van Gogh just doesn't care and sneers at the world unless it really bothers him, and then he lets everyone know how he's feeling in a way that is not to be ignored.
Rhys make Theo as interesting if not more. He is also "somewhere else", and not in the sense of a mere romantic cliche. He is a staid businessman but, like his brother, he is violently unable to reconcile himself to the world around him which is mostly composed of phonies and mediocrities.Read more ›
Now comes VINCENT AND THEO (more than likely inspired by Leonard Nimoy's famous 1-man play "Theo", all about Theo Van Gogh)--this film is in some ways really ahead of its time. Directed by Robert Altman, released in 1990, Vincent (brilliant Tim Roth) is really quite smart but obviously ill. Theo (a terribly twitchy Paul Rhys) is the madman here.
There was a love/hate thing I felt about that. In real life, Theo was Vincent's reliable rock, his support and his lifeline--to Theo, Vincent was a hero. They loved one another, and Vincent's mystery illness hurt them both. That is all this movie has in common with reality.
Yet the locations, the cinematography...I never thought I'd ever see that world in which Vincent lived. In this film I felt I was really there, really, really, there! The British came close to this recently with a "Dr. Who" episode featuring Vincent, but still!
The soundtrack, though it becomes repetitive, is a miracle. I loved its ominous overture, and it struck me 1/4 of the way through that the music was trying to paint in sound like Vincent painted in oils. It made me so happy to think that, it helped me ignore some of the ugly rough-and-tumble of this film.
If there is one weakness it is the sagging moments. There is no clear need for these, and they seem almost an allergy of Altman's, but here they are and they get uncomfortable. I was able to go to the sandbox and when I returned the film was still on the same darned sagging scene.Read more ›
I have been a life-long admirer of his art, both the paintings and his voluminous , intensely personal correspondence with his art-dealer brother, Theo. I've been to Amsterdam, solely to see many of his originals, in the Van Gogh Museum there. I own numerous books about his life and art, including the complete three volume set of his letters to Theo, which director Robert Altman reportedly used as the backbone of this film. I have read Irving Stone's 1934 classic piece of historical fiction, "Lust For Life" probably half a dozen times, and own the 1956 Kirk Douglas movie version as well. My home is filled with various reproductions of Vincent's art, including even many of his charcoal sketch works, and a few more expensive oil reproductions, too. He is my favorite artist, and was my personal introduction to art in general, when at the unknowing age of 14 I stumbled into the Impressionist wing at the Art Institute in Chicago (my home town), and found myself transfixed in front of "The Sower". I doubt I'll ever be the same. Even my first kiss from a girl comes in second to the magic of that moment.
So you can see, when I stumbled on the many favorable reviews for this movie ("Vincent and Theo") on this site (half of the 25 reviews to date consider this a 5 star movie), I bought a copy, sight unseen, hoping that the iconoclastic director Robert Altman would finally capture the full scope and intensity of Vincent Van Gogh's creative genius, as well as the endearing true story of Vincent's special relationship to his brother Theo.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was good but Altman the director let himself sink into a pessimism that is absent when you read Vang Gogh's letters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jacob Arnon
I was disappointed. The story line was incorrect and a dull representation of the true story. Disappointing overall.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great having this movie in my collection, quick shipment, price was good and in perfect condition. Thank you!Published 3 months ago by Evelyn Mayton
very slow moving- Theo's character depicted more negatively than in most other biographies.Published 4 months ago by Doreen Rohr
I enjoyed this movie. i was an art history major at New York university and thus have strong interest. But, visually and in every way the movie fulfills. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Marcy S. Getz
Vincent and Theo features the quirky, voyeuristic style of Altman and has Roth in an intense but human role. Read morePublished 9 months ago by rbrogan3
I wanted to like it. Robert Altman is one of my favorite directors. Van Gogh's story is great. But this film was slow and the directing and editing were both poor. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mark
Compelling portrayal of a complicated relationship between two gifted but tortured souls. Roth and Rhys are outstanding as Vincent and Theo Van Gogh.Published 11 months ago by Anna M. Flanagan