At Eternity’s Gate: A Painting In Motion


In the process of writing this I began to realize much of what I want to convey to you about this movie is difficult to write down. What I felt throughout the movie is hard to illustrate; feelings of despair, joy, wonder, and heartache are present as Van Gogh’s last two years were filled with both immense sadness and happiness.

And I guess that’s why I like this movie so much. It makes me feel so much. The imagery floods the senses and the somber piano always makes my eyes water. It’s beautiful in the way that looking at painting is beautiful. You can feel the director’s movement and emotion like seeing the painter’s brush marks. It truly feels like watching a moving painting.

For as much praise as I give this movie it does have a few flaws. The dialogue- while for the most part delivered well- can feel heavy handed or even simplistic, but honestly this movie isn’t meant to be held under the same linguistic scrutiny as a Tarantino film. The script is simple because if it were any longer it would detract from the rest of the movie.

And the cinematography, while remarkable, has the potential to put off some. The use of “fish eye” lenses and distortion can come across as overindulgent, but personally I find it fitting.

I’ll link more professional reviews if you want to read more, but I would recommend watching it without too much insight. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from giving it a chance. It’s one of my favorite films for a reason. 9 outta 10 paintbrushes. (Or maybe 9 outta 10 ears because, you know…)

Links and stuff:


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