At Eternity’s Gate: The BRWC Review

At Eternity’s Gate: The BRWC Review

There can be few names so famous as Vincent Van Gogh, the influential post-impressionist painter known best either for his painting of Sunflowers, or for cutting off his ear. At Eternity’s Gate explores the later stages of the artist’s life, with Willem Dafoe cast as the red-haired icon. Director Julian Schnabel provides a rare biopic that revels in fascination surrounding the subject, rather than letting his lead actor do the heavy lifting.

Not to say Dafoe is anything short of astounding. Insisting that he must paint all in one thought, his energy and instability bursts through his broad brushstrokes. Turns by Oscar Isaac and Mads Mikkelson facilitate passionate dialogue, but both are dwarfed by the magnetism Dafoe exudes. Perfectly centred, Dafoe is given sufficient time to show the painful disintegration of Van Gogh’s mental state.

Schnabel’s disregard for cinematic form ranges from the tentative repetition of dialogue to increasingly garish, non-naturalistic cinematography. Filtered through a yellow haze at the extremes, often the perspective is merely slightly off – as if in part refracted through water. The image remains beautiful, but like Van Gogh’s paintings, it is a harsh effect, paradoxically unwelcoming and enticing. Coupled with a fluctuating use of point of view, and a sly masking of Van Gogh’s presumably gory self inflicted wound, Schnabel ramps up empathy to uncomfortable heights. Distance from the sorrowful genius is never afforded, resulting in a striking mixture of pity and indignation.



“Maybe God made me a painter for people who aren’t born yet,” Van Gogh laments, a sentiment that rings true in every frame of the film. Van Gogh tragically wrestles against demons real and imagined, standing just short of immortality. At Eternity’s Gate provides a masterful study into a man’s tormented mind, with all the beauty and intensity of a magnificent Starry Night.


We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.


Trending on BRWC:

Michael Mendelsohn: Interview 

Michael Mendelsohn: Interview 

By BRWC / 6th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Velma Season 2: Review

Velma Season 2: Review

By BRWC / 9th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Unfrosted: The BRWC Review

Unfrosted: The BRWC Review

By BRWC / 14th May 2024
Infested – Review  

Infested – Review  

By BRWC / 5th May 2024 / 1 Comment
Classic Film Review: Ulysses (1967)

Classic Film Review: Ulysses (1967)

By BRWC / 29th April 2024

Cool Posts From Around the Web:



NO COMMENTS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.