Vincent & Theo

Pared down from an English miniseries by the director himself, this 1990 feature by Robert Altman about Vincent van Gogh and his art dealer brother Theo, scripted by Julian Mitchell, is basically an extended reflection on the uneasy relationship between art and commerce that has relatively little to do with painting per se. It opens with a videotape of a present-day auctioning of a van Gogh canvas, and the bulk of what follows concentrates on the quirky acting styles of Tim Roth as Vincent and Paul Rhys as Theo. As in Alan Rudolph's The Moderns, there is little effort to create a persuasive European period flavor, and the ambience is strictly postmodern. Still, this was Altman's most watchable theatrical feature in about a decade, and the actors always keep you guessing. With Jip Wijngaarden, Johanna Ter Steege, and Jean-Pierre Cassel. 138 min.

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