After leaving the asylum, Vincent Van Gogh (Jacques Dutronc in a César Award-winning performance) settles in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, in the home of Doctor Gachet, an art lover and patron. Vincent keeps painting amidst conflicts with his brother, Theo; his failing mental health; and an affair with Marguerite, his host’s daughter. This French production has been widely admired since its 1991 release for its relative lack of melodrama and sensational aspects—you won’t see Vincent cutting off his ear, for example—along with its more subtle connections to the great painter’s art. In the hands of legendary post-nouvelle vague director Maurice Pialat (À nos amours, Under the Sun of Satan), the Vincent that emerges is more human, filled with joy and tormented by illness, than he is in any of the other great Van Gogh biopics. There is a strong case to be made that Pialat's Van Gogh is one of the very best of them all.
Director Maurice Pialat | 1991 | In French with English subtitles | 158 minutes | NR | DCP