Wolf at the Door | Chicago Reader

Wolf at the Door

The wolf in question is painter Paul Gauguin, played by Donald Sutherland, and director Henning Carlsen is at pains to make him something of a stud. This French-Danish coproduction shot in English restricts its focus to Paris and Copenhagen, 1893-'94, between Gauguin's two extended sojourns in Tahiti, when he is trying unsuccessfully to sell his work, hanging out with other Parisian artists (including August Strindberg, played with owlish wit by Max von Sydow), and coping with four women—his former and present models (both of whom he is sleeping with), his unforgiving wife, and a 14-year-old neighbor with a powerful crush on him. Thoughtful and occasionally thought provoking, despite a rather patronizing treatment of the women, the film examines Gauguin's jaundiced views of civilization and the high price paid for his own bohemianism. With Valerie Morea, Sofie Graboel, Fanny Bastien, Merete Voldstedlund, and a virtually unrecognizable Jean Yanne.

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