At this late date, there would seem to be little new to dramatize — or stylize — about a man so often scrutinized on screen. But Julien Schnabel's "At Eternity's Gate" finds a filmmaker (and, not incidentally, a painter) in kinship with his subject. Add a deeply resonant performance by Willem Dafoe, and everything old feels new again.
Named after a late-period Van Gogh painting, "At Eternity's Gate" takes what might be called a post-impressionist tack in telling the story of the greatest post-impressionistic painter. Where 2017's "Loving Vincent" did so visually, Schnabel's film finds its analogues both visual and dramatic. The casting of Dafoe challenges the literal-minded, given that the actor is in his early 60s and Van Gogh died in his late 30s, while the very fine screenplay by Schnabel, Louise Kugelberg and Jean-Claude Carri
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