REVIEW: Loving Vincent. Malvern Theatres (Cinema) - November 23.

A FILM where each frame is a painting, based on the exuberant art and style of Vincent van Gogh, can be a little disconcerting at times, because of all those bright colours and swirls.

However, the eye quickly adjusts to the van Gogh universe, which is a blend of visionary beauty and anxiety. I hadn't noticed this anxiety in his work before, despite having seen many actual works in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and elsewhere. This anxiety created an emotional instability in the artist's universe, and this was reflected in his art - and brought into relief by the animation of that art. It is the sense that solid reality and security is always on the edge of dissolving away; and one supposes that was indeed the reality of the artist's unstable and rootless life.

Once the mind adjusts, this beautiful film is not difficult to enjoy. The film was shot conventionally at first, with Robert Gulaczyk as Vincent, Jerome Flynn as Dr Gachet and Aidan Turner as Boatman, for instance, and all of the acting performances are strong: even with the individual frames turned into individual moving paintings. They are literally moving paintings, of course!

On one level, the plot is a who-dunnit. Did Vincent pull the trigger on himself, or was someone else involved?

On a more profound level, the film is about genius and isolation, and how society treats its unusual characters, passing through.

Gary Bills-Geddes