Van Gogh (1991 film)
|Directed by||Maurice Pialat|
|Written by||Maurice Pialat|
Bernard Le Coq
|Edited by||Yann Dedet|
Van Gogh is a 1991 French film written and directed by Maurice Pialat. It stars Jacques Dutronc in the role of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, a role for which he won the 1992 César Award for Best Actor. Set in 1890, the film follows the last 67 days of Van Gogh's life and explores his relationships with his brother Theo, his physician Paul Gachet (most famous as the subject of Van Gogh's painting Portrait of Dr. Gachet), and the women in his life, including Gachet's daughter, Marguerite.
The film was entered into the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 64th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
- Jacques Dutronc as Vincent van Gogh
- Alexandra London as Marguerite (Gachet)
- Bernard Le Coq as Theo van Gogh
- Gérard Séty as Gachet
- Elsa Zylberstein as Cathy
- Corinne Bourdon as Jo
- Leslie Azzoulai as Adeline (as Leslie Azoulai)
- Jacques Vidal as Ravoux
- Chantal Barbarit as Madame Chevalier
- Claudine Ducret as Professeur de Piano
- Frédéric Bonpart as La Mouche
- Maurice Coussonneau as Chaponval
- Didier Barbier as L'Idiot
- Gilbert Pignol as Gilbert
- André Bernot as La Butte Rouge
Approach to biography
The film is noted for its anti-melodramatic and unsensationalistic approach to Van Gogh's life. For this reason it is often contrasted with Vincente Minnelli's Van Gogh film Lust for Life.[not in citation given] Very little time is devoted to Van Gogh's art and work, with the bulk of the 158-minute running time occupied by the artist's often difficult personal relationships and declining mental state. The film omits most references to many of the most famous incidents in Van Gogh's life (including his attempt to cut off his ear in 1888) in favor of concentrating on the social dynamics of the late 19th century.
Writing in The Washington Post, critic Desson Howe explains: "In the movie, you don't see Van Gogh (Jacques Dutronc) complete the final brush stroke of a masterpiece, then call up old Gauguin for a celebratory absinthe. You do see a thin, stringy man, suffering from headaches, enjoying whores and moping around irascibly. Van Gogh denies you familiar highlights, keeps you from his working elbow and avoids the Ear Thing. But it shows you the quotidian stuff in between. This is the story of an artist being human, carrying canvases out or lugging them back in – their famous images intentionally out of sight."
- List of submissions to the 64th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of French submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film