At the Movies – “At Eternity’s Gate”

Movies

Jesus, the Green Goblin and Nosferatu…no, they don’t walk into a bar; what do they have in common? Willem Dafoe. Yep, he’s played them all. And we can now add Vincent Van Gogh to that roster.

In “At Eternity’s Gate,” Dafoe is Vincent during his final days, one ear and all, some even at an asylum.

Shot with a hand-held camera and set in France, he is at his tortured best playing the artist at a time when he completed 75 paintings in 80 days – many of them his most famous. 

According to director Julian Schnabel, who’s done the artist bio before with ‘Basquiat,’ the movie is based on Van Gogh’s letters, hearsay, and some stuff just plain invented. Dig the candor! 

Schnabel says it’s simply about what it is to be an artist. Dafoe plays Van Gogh as in love with the world, a guy who answers what do you want to paint the most with “sunlight.” I know – not even a nude. 

Van Gogh passed at only 37, so look for the 63-year-old actor to do his Cher best with that. The Oscar talk has already begun. Can ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ take on ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and win? Hey, like I said, Dafoe was the Green Goblin. 

The film is PG-13. 
 

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