Vincent and Theo – with Tim Roth as Vincent van Gogh, directed by Robert Altman
I bought this film on VHS many years ago, and again recently viewed it. It is so good to view a well-made film again after years, and this is certainly an example.
Another outstanding performance by Tim Roth – portraying the artist, the genius, the eccentric, the individual van Gogh, I found his interpretation thought provoking, intense. The sadness of brilliance seemingly trapped in a society void of awareness.
Roth’s lines, powerful, as van Gogh’s work. His demeanor indicative of the fine line, as is said, between genius and madness. Some of the lines from Vincent, short, powerful – stay with me for their clearly elucidated truth.
Fascinating to learn Tim Roth has said he based his character performance in this film on his dad, who admired van Gogh (see Roth’s interview, for his comments on his portrayal of van Gogh and working with Robert Altman in this — Tim Roth: The Hollywood Interview http://thehollywoodinterview.blogspot.com/2009/03/tim-roth-hollywood-interview.html ).
It was particularly meaningful to view Tim Roth, himself an artist, as van Gogh… it felt as if so much of what he evinced was personal as it seemed so insightful… it is how viewing the film made me feel. Raw realism is what it felt like, even though I knew it was a film. The interview with Roth linked above sheds light on this feeling for me. Frankly, I believe the realism of his dialogue and demeanor may likely be due to his love of art, of painting, his creativity being expressed even whilst being filmed.
Historical, yes, interpretive, yes… a fine film illustrating the tumult of the circumstances van Gogh experienced as he created his masterpieces. Torment from the world around him, and stress with those in it such as his brother and fellow artists. The interplay between he and his brother Theo (played by Paul Rhys), poignant.
A portrait of an extraordinary artist performed by an extraordinary actor. I highly recommend Vincent and Theo.
It’s trailer is available here at IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100873/