Saturday, 21 October 2017

Geostorm (2017) (Review)


Geostorm could have been a lot of fun. Its first teaser-trailer was rather effective, exhibiting some immense barminess that allows these end-of-the-world disaster films to operate most efficiently. As a slice of fun, dumb entertainment, Geostorm could have cooked up a storm. Now, excuse my French, but the only type of storm Geostorm is, is a sh*t storm of the dullest, most eye-gouging proportion.

Dean Devlin's feature-length directorial debut sees Mr Gerald Butler's Jake Lawson attempt to save the world from a potentially earth-destroying storm, caused by malfunctioning climate-controlling satellites. Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Alexandra Maria Lara, Andy Garcia and Robert Sheehan star alongside Butler in this mind-numbing, abysmal and pain dreadful excuse of a film, in which everyone involved should be ashamed of. Long-delayed and continually-shelved, it is easy to see why Warner Bros rejected the film to the very pits of their schedule for so long.

Easily one of the year's absolute worst, Geostorm fails in every single area. Honestly, Warner Bros earned this stain against their name the minute the fatal decision to cast a new, barely-qualified director reigns to a $120 million production was made. Without the experience, guidance or skills to execute a film even approaching adequacy, Dean Devlin (who also produces and writes the piece) crumbles under the pressure of taking on such an overwhelming undertaking. His direction is directionless, with bizarre framing decisions and uncomfortable angles utilised to help cover up the fact the post-production team have attempted to salvage the piece with dubbing (presumably with a better script at hand, as hard as that is to believe).

It attempts to emulate many-a-successful disaster films through a paint-by-numbers formula, but fails in spite of the incredibly predictable structure utilised for guidance. Considering this has all been done, in not particularly impressive films, Devlin worsens these tricks further, culminating in an embarrassing feature-length that should be scrubbed from memory. Can Butler's Lawson work on that next please?

Visually, it's an empty spectacle magnified to eye-gouging scale by some atrocious special effects. At times it can be passable - but all those moments can be glimpsed in that first teaser trailer, and the remainder is downright atrocious. At one moment, a giant tidal wave approaches Saudi Arabia (maybe? I'm not definite on that, my eyes were busy bleeding) and it honest-to-goodness looks like an effect lifted straight from Windows Movie Maker, rather than something one of Hollywood's major studios, handling a nine-digit budget, have actively paid for. Substandard at very, very best, at least the film is consistent in being a mess on all fronts. 

From the very second the exposition-heavy, poorly-written voiceover opens Geostorm, the metaphorical writing was on the wall and Devlin's actual writing was on the floor, belonging in the nearest rubbish bin available. If the extraordinarily awful reviews weren't already an indicator and - like me - you wanted to make your own decision, those opening 30 seconds confirm that you are in for pretty torrid time with this one; heartbreakingly, it gets no better either. One sequence, possibly the very worst of the year, sees a computer-wiz cut down a lengthy speech to the precise words required to string together a wordy warning about sabotage and danger, at the touch of a button. Not only is the convoluted plan vapid plot advancements in the history of plot advancements, but it insults the audience terribly. Being subjected to this level of undermining paying consumers made me not want to go the cinema again. Genuinely.

Laughable dialogue and writing induces eye-rolls at every turn, failing even the very basics in storytelling. Whether its the flat characters, cringeworthy encounters, the nonchalant indulgence in genre conventions or predictable narrative tropes, Devlin's script (co-written with Paul Guyot) is a melting pot on how to destroy a once interesting idea. I genuinely struggle to comprehend that this was the final product and not an incredibly awful first or second draft. Absolutely no care to provoke meaningful relationships, a substantial story or layered characters can be evidenced here; it is as if they surrendered to the idea that this was conceptualised for no other reason than to hopefully create a new Gerald Butler-led franchise on the back of his 'Has Fallen' success.

However, the biggest catastrophe here (of, as you can tell by now, many) is the disastrous pacing and pervading dullness. Watching this film again is less preferably than watching paint dry, or grass grow, and undoubtedly a cheaper, less frustrating experience. Crushingly dull, utterly soulless and unintentionally laughable, it drags its heels from start to finish. A telltale sign of a writer out of his depth, struggling to string together a remotely coherent piece, it tires to paint-by-numbers and borrow from elsewhere, but fails even that. I have never walked out of a film, but I can dangerously close here (and, on reflection, I wish I had). Bored out of my skull and holding out for that moment I stepped back into the torrential rain, downpour and winds of Dudley, Birmingham, few films have every pushed me to this level of apathy. It's a total slog that should be used as an anaesthetic in local hospitals.

Lacking any definition or clarity in plot and lacking insightfulness towards its subject matter (climate change), Geostorm operates only as another exhibition for Butler's action star 'skills' - and it's embarrassing even by his standards. He surely has another mindless action picture in the pipeline and it won't dent his career too much but some effort would have been appreciated. When he's not looking smug or racing around a preposterous space station, he's... well, I'm not sure what he's doing to be honest. How he was ever the one qualified to oversee this 'Dutchboy' experiment escapes me, likely because the script was cutting corners and dodging the need to explain anything that happens.

Unconvinced of Jim Sturgess' leading man credentials anyway, this is not the type of film he should be leading if push came to shove. He looks lifeless at times, although his relationship with Jake's daughter, played by Tabitha Bateman, is more convincing than the one with her on-screen father; Bateman is pretty poor herself with some contrived emotion; while Abbie Cornish provides a laboured performance as the kick-ass female the film fights to make her out to be.

Zazie Beetz is promising but her attempt at comedy feels forced and unnatural; Robert Sheehan, an actor of fine talent, performs with a horrendous, unrecognisable accent; Andy Garcia is force-fed some woeful one-liners that could be lifted from anyone 'save the President from this uncontrollable threat' movie; and Ed Harris performs with the least amount of subtlety you've seen in your life. These poor performances should probably be attributed more to the script that pushes all these actors into an inescapable corner - but they took on the project, so they take on the brunt of these issues. 

Geostorm is a car crash of a film. An unmitigated disaster of the dullest. You owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to warn them about the soul-destroying Geostorm. It is your moral duty to prevent those you know and love from subjecting themselves to this abysmal excuse of a film. It could have been a so-bad-its-good flick, frothy and disposable, but instead it commits every film-making sin in the book and crushes your film-loving soul in the process.

Oh, and it ends on a narration as god-awful as the opening narration.

☆☆
(1/10) 

Summary: It is your moral duty as an upstanding citizen of this fine world to prevent those you know and love from subjecting themselves to the abysmal, mind-numbing and soul-destroying Geostorm. Worst film of the year? Very probably.

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Party (2017) (Review)


I knew nothing about The Party. As a matter of fact, it was a last minute addition to my film schedule for the day, if only to pad out the afternoon somewhat. I had not even seen a trailer or poster, only a single still of Timothy Spall when checking the cinema's listings. There's a lot to be said about approaching something as blindly as possible, particularly in the typically marketing-saturated cinematic environment we live in; The Party is a film that truly benefits from that conceit, crafting an endlessly-joyful, consistently-sharp surprise.

The Party concerns itself with a dinner party between friends, hosted by Janet, the new shadow minister of health for the opposition party, which descends into an ensuing comedy of tragic proportions (as the poster so elegantly puts) with each successive revelation and tribulation. The Sally Potter-directed picture stars Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cherry Jones, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson and Bruno Ganza as the eclectic bunch attending a party they will all wish they didn't bother RSVP-ing for.

The Party is a less of a film than it is a brilliant, hypnotic farce. The 71 minute feature-length, shot entirely in black-and-white and contained within one setting, sprawling out over just a few rooms, is totally unique in the cinematic landscape. It takes a singular idea and stretches it into a weighty, meaningful piece (unlike The Death of Stalin, for example), feeling urgent and lively at each unpredictable turn. Potter's sharp, satirical screenplay is chock-full with smart, believable dialogue and the characters that populate it are more than your typical genre staples. Installing a biting sense of urgency allows the film to fly-by in a flash, becoming one of the rare instances this year where you find yourself willing a film to be longer than it actually is. With an enthusiasm and restraint, Potter's screenplay sets the wheels in motion for a black-comedy that a terrific ensemble embrace and go to work on.

Every cast member here is on top form. Impeccably played by all involved, the group dynamics are a constant source of excitement: be it the venomous verbal sparring or an unspoken hostility and subterfuge, there is rarely a dull moment with this effervescent group to keep us entertained. No weak chain to speak of, there are a handful that rise above the rest; Mortimer's steely composure begins to crack as her life comes crumbling down around her, responsible for a good portion of the film's emotion; and Murphy is a triumph as the cocaine-taking, unhinged accountant from the city, losing the plot bit-by-bit. But is is Patricia Clarkson, with masterful aplomb, who shines the brightest as the straight-talking, pot-stirring April. Every acid-tounged line spit at the friends she turns on - in its conception and delivery - is met with hearty belly-laughs from the eager audience, lapping up her retorts and retaliations with gay abandon. She is truly outstanding and I want her to be a guest at every dinner party I attend. When the others can wrestle the limelight away from Clarkson, they excel, with all performers receiving a moment at the centre they revel in.

Both timeless and modern, The Party is so effective because it is always on the money. Amongst the middle-class nightmares, a Brexit-related air hangs over the piece - which would otherwise be a totally depressing thing considering it is all we hear on our news channels at the moment - but it only helps in energising the razor-sharp satire that pervades throughout. Drenched in black and white, Potter's stylistic decisions help enforce a theatrical quality that appears quintessentially British, heightening our enjoyment in The Party. While intrigued to discover how this plays outside the Brexit-land, it is completely effective in tapping in to the time we live in. Contained in one house, without frills and purposely low-scale, these exact scenes could be happening in the house three doors down from you, a large part in the film's charm. There's no need for massive set pieces because the storyline, cast and visuals do more than enough to engage audiences.

Even amid the love and politics musings, the added, hidden poignancy of its messages and the sorry state-of-the-nation captured, there exists a complete hilarity in the whole situation. From inappropriate records scoring key moments to the continuous chiming of a mobile phone (reminding you that life continues outside these four walls), humour is always at the forefront and rarely lost in the farce. An onslaught of witty one-liners - usually from Clarkson's April, I might add - will be the most remembered element of The Party but it's worth nothing that Potter exercises the restriction and control to balance the piece effectively, understanding when enough is enough. While mentioning earlier that the credits seemed to come round too quickly, Potter avoids the age-old saying, 'too much of a good thing...'. Maybe the riotousness would be lost if it became looser with its timing and for that we should appreciate a director keeping on top of their project.

Perhaps one flaw of The Party is that it ends stronger than it begins. The first quarter takes a little too long starting its engine, spluttering out of the starting gate without the grace it ends on. On a couple of occasions it appears to lose sight of some of its characters, thrust back into the foreground when the plot needs a shake-up: that's not a particularly bad thing, just frustrating to witness. I do wish it had a few more minutes to flesh out some ideas as well and it probably won't hurt too much taking it closer to 90 minutes than 60 minutes.

Despite initial trouble to get itself off the ground running, The Party becomes a truly funny satire on love and politics, a calamitous farce that becomes increasingly humorous; far-fetched but still grounded in middle-class reality. A riotous affair, helmed excellently by Sally Potter, provides us with one of the most impressive ensemble performances of the year - although Patricia Clarkson steals the show with her pitch-perfect acidic bite. Clocking in at just 71 minutes, The Party packs in more laughs, satire and poignancy than most would wish, turning its tragicomedy into a roaring success.

(7.5/10) 

Summary: From the riotous to the poignant, Sally Potter's The Party taps into the state-of-the-nation with a smart, sharp comedy populated with hilarious characters and brought to life by a truly fantastic cast. Patricia Clarkson should be at all dinner parties.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Flatliners (2017) (Review)


Flatliners dared us to cross the line. It's underwhelming box office figures suggest very few followed that advice though - and those that did ripped it to shreds. Of course, the 2017 film is a sequel to the 1990 original - which was hardly the most well-liked film - and hoped to spawn a new franchise for the struggling Sony Pictures, but it looks to be dead on arrival. Is the film really as bad as that 5% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating suggests, or has it been unfair attacked?

As with the original, the film follows five medical students attempting to learn about the afterlife. After conducting controlled near-death experiments - flatlining - they are brought back to life to report their findings. As it becomes obvious that something has followed them back into the real world, the students must learn to fight their new demons to survive. Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons lead the film as the medical students exploring the after-life, while Kiefer Sutherland returns as a new character because this is most definitely a sequel, not a remake (despite IMDB continuing to list it is a remake).

Calling Flatliners one of the worst films of the year, like many others have, would be the easiest option here. Honestly, Flatliners is not a good film - but neither is it the colossal failure most would have you believe. It feels odd trying to defend a film that one cannot knowingly recommend to a friend, but it simply does not deserve its now infamous reputation or fervorous, hateful reception. Critics appeared to jump on this one immediately, picking at its dying carcass in delight, and I'm not too sure why.

Maybe my expectations were lowered to rock-bottom levels approaching Flatliners: I rather disliked the original, the incoming reviews were disastrous to say the least and, frankly, it looked pretty poor. Does the film deserve my pity? Probably not. It's uninspired, conventional and a little bit dull at times. It's not even entertaining enough to justify its existence; but there are worse films to waste your time on. 

Director Niels Arden Oplev reimagines the picture with a solid-enough vision: the nightmare sequences are particularly well-realised, with a genuine sense of horror incorporated into the mix. Although it seems unbalanced in terms of tone and genre - with a definitive, sudden difference between the two halves of the film - it embraces it in a way that is goofy, camp and trashy enough to work visually. In comparison to the original too, it helps that you can actually see what is going on, with some decent cinematography from Eric Kress enhancing the set pieces. 

Ben Ripley's spiritless screenplay is responsible for most of Flatliners' downfalls. Despite working with an intriguing concept, and just like the original, the botched execution means that little enthusiasm can found throughout the narrative. It all feels rather pointless actually, like a slog for Ripley, experienced by the audience too. Admittedly, Ripley lands an admirable third-act twist many doubted it would actually stick with, showing that the potential is there but it goes largely unfulfilled and for every moment that works, there is another that doesn't work.

But the biggest flaw here is the uninspired characters. With next to no characterisation between them, little separates the four medical students undergoing the flatlining process. As we watch a film play out that forces us through the same build-up, flatline, dream, nightmare cycle, we rely on the characters to provide a new experience each time - but there's no personality to any of them. They all experience the same thing; they are react to it in the same way; they all deal with the same agitation and guilt. What do we have that makes watching the same cycle play out four times worthwhile? Very little. It becomes dull and repetitive, and with no meat to these characters, it becomes very difficult to sympathise with many - if any - of them at all. 

Any emotion you feel towards them is down to the best efforts of a cast held hostage to their weak counterparts. Most are forced to deliver melodramatic performances that delve into horror tropes as predictable as they are annoying, and while passable on the whole, the cast deserve better. Page helms it with any emotion and hint of a backstory that appears unresolved, while Clemons is the best of a tortured bunch. Norton feels miscast, while Dobrev takes on the archetypical female-in-a-horror-film role. Luna is the only one provided with something of a little more substance, but his character (while in the right) is treated as a burden. 

You can find entertainment in Flatliners. If it came on the television one day, you may consider keeping it on the in the background. While obviously flawed, it is not a complete disaster and I actually prefer it to the original. Despite all their might, the talented cast cannot save a weak script and the direction isn't creative enough to elevate it either, indulging in horror tropes and conventions at a disappointing rate.

✬☆
(4.5/10) 

Summary: Dead-on-arrival but not as awful as the reviews suggest, Flatliners perishes at the hands of a weak script and dreadful characters, despite solid efforts from the cast and lowered expectations all-round. Please, do not resuscitate.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Snowman (2017) (Review)


The Snowman tries with all its might to follow in the footsteps of the incredible Gone Girl and unfairly-dismissed The Girl On The Train: it is a film adaptation of a best-selling crime-mystery-thriller; it aligns itself carefully for award season glory with a mid-autumn release date; and assembles a promising cast, with at least one well-loved British talent; helmed by a director with prior award-season success. It is unfortunate that, while watchable, The Snowman lets such a promising opportunity melt away in front of our very eyes.

The Snowman follows Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), an elite but troubled crime squad detective in Oslo, who investigates the disappearance of a young mother on the first snow of winter. An elusive serial killer, nicknamed The Snowman, is feared to be rising again - and looks set to kill with every fresh snowfall. It's up to Hole and promising new recruit, Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), to track him down before he strikes again,  and blood stains the snow again.

You can accredit The Snowman's disappointment to one of two variables: either, the film's source material - Norwegian author Jo Nesbo's best-selling novel - does not provide the film with a sturdy-enough foundation on which to develop the film on; or the botched page-to-screen translation, headed up Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan and Soren Sveistrup, fails to identify the elements that made the novel such a success and smartly infuse them into the screenplay. Without reading the 2007 novel, it's difficult to make an assertion either way: but my gut reaction leans towards the latter, as notable narrative deviations have supposedly been made, which disfigures the starting point completely.

The Snowman just doesn't have the momentum to keep audiences in the palm of its hand. It starts promising enough, introducing its core mystery and crime in a smart, alluring way: the sense of fear and dread looms large over the case and the tension slow begins to escalate, as the detectives sense the work of a serial killer. Early on, we see a handful of effective set pieces, genuine mystery and strong storytelling. But as we approach the finale, the story becomes increasing preposterous and lazy, taking itself far too seriously for its own good. There's little respite to the brooding mood that hangs so bleakly over the film, which becomes even more transparent as we descend into that underwhelming final stretch. It feels predictable, formulaic and rather generic, endlessly borrowing elements from more successful films and television miniseries.

While Gone Girl has comments to pass on society and The Girl on the Train made assertions about gender, The Snowman has nothing beyond surface-level additions to develop it into something better, stronger, more operational. It feels like an oddly-empty spectacle filled with unmemorable characters, despite the intriguing central concept it considers and some high-level intensity contained within the first half. Claire Simpson and Thelma Schoonmaker valiantly attempt to edit the film together effectively - but the film makes bizarre jumps, allows characters to complete fade into obscurity and ditch sub-plots when that are no longer required, as if crucial scenes went missing between the production and post-production process. Simpson and Schoonmaker can only paper over the cracks so well and their efforts, while admirable, cannot save The Snowman from melting away.

While the characters lack substance, the cast do their best with them. Fassbender plays Harry Hole (I laughed numerous times) effectively but it won't go down as a career best; his main character traits seems to be that he quite likes a drink and continual disappoints his family but lacks the backstory to expand on this. Thankfully, Fassbender is a talented man and just about brings enough likability to this once-sharp detective - it just doesn't feel particularly inspired. Rebecca Ferguson is weighty as Katrine, providing emotion and magnetism as the latest addition to the Oslo's police force. Toby Jones makes a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo and J.K. Simmons leads an interesting sub-plot that completely vanishes as his character is sidelined later in the story.

Fortunately, The Snowman possess some truly captivating imagery to keep audiences (at least visually) engaged. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the icy landscapes of Oslo provide an excellent and rather stunning backdrop, enhanced by Dion Beebe's terrific cinematography. Its grand, chilling winter landscape cultivates the tone that begins so promising well, as does Marco Beltrami's soundtrack; it won't win awards and it feels like a copy-and-paste job at times, but it is serviceable and helps add some excitement to the otherwise to an increasingly lacklustre affair.

The best way to describe The Snowman is as follow: it is like two jigsaw puzzles were mixed into one box - a straight-forward adaptation from the author, and the director's vision, who took artistic and narrative liberties of his own. When it then came to assembling the end-product, they discovered that a handful of each puzzle's pieces were missing; because they had already committed to it, they tried to scavenge together something that bared resemblance, if only vaguely, to a complete film. As such, the final result is an imperfect, un-synced amalgamation of two competing visions that never coalesce into one satisfying whole. Scenes seem to be missing and things fail to fall into place, prompting an unsatisfying jumble and upsetting missed opportunity.


But here's the thing. Crime-thrillers are my genre when it comes to cinema, so even one that feels as scarcely passable as The Snowman will receive my time and effort - and very probably, at least some enjoyment. If you're the same, you might find The Snowman frosty but watchable; I'm hardly recommending you rush out to catch it while in cinemas but I won't be against you doing so if it encourages studios to continuing funding the genre in the future. While the immense talent on paper struggle with all their desperation to turn this choppy, flat picture into something stronger, it never really comes together in a truly satisfying manner and a film positioned as a potential year-end favourite abandons all hope by the time the credits roll after a particularly weak final act. Fine but not the hoped-for smash.


(5.5/10) 

Summary: This Jo Nesbo adaptation will tide genre fans over until the next page-to-screen film translation or television miniseries - but for those after something a little more substantial, The Snowman will, disappointingly, melt away the further you head into the jumbled blizzard.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Loving Vincent (2017) (Review)


Loving Vincent is an astonishing work of art. Or rather, works of art. Around 115 talented artists are responsible for individually hand-painting the 65,000 frames that make up the 91 minute feature-length oozing with creativity and passion. Crafted entirely from oil paints on canvas, the same technique used by Vincent Van Gogh - the film's muse and centre - the British-Polish co-production is  the world's first fully-painted feature-length and a stunning, poignant and tender artistic triumph.

Loving Vincent begins one year after the death of the great painter, Vincent Van Gough, and follows Armand Roulin's attempt to deliver a letter, written by Vincent, to his brother, Theo Van Gough. Along the way, Roulin meets people who were around Vincent during his final days and starts to question why Vincent would would take his own life after making a breakthrough with his mental health - or whether it was all a cover-up for murder. 

Loving Vincent is a marvellous piece of art that carefully prevents turning its uniqueness into a gimmick, as many feared it would. It is quite fair to say that every frame is a painting, because they quite literally are, creating the most visually jaw-dropping film of the year by a country mile. While adapting to this new style of 'animation' may be a tricky thing for some, the audience are slowly eased in to the distinctive style by a confident and passionate pair of directors; Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman's seven-years-in-the-making effort clocks in at just a shade over 90 minutes, and manages to cram in almost every emotion under the sun in that timespan - heartbreak, anger, comfort, resilience and spirit bubble under the surface as the Starry Night swirls and the Cafe Terrace sparkles with life. It is an undeniable masterpiece. Their labour of love is careful not to place all of its cards on its jaw-dropping visuals, peppering its script with some heady, potent theme work.

As well as the strong themes spliced into the script, Loving Vincent's narrative more than serves its purpose, delivering an intriguing mystery crime drama mash-up. It explores the final days of the gone-before-his-years artist, the people he was surrounded with at the end and his volatile mental state that led to his early demise. It refuses to dish out blame to those who wronged him and it never lionises Vincent, presenting him as a misunderstood human who made his mark on the world after his time. It considers the good and bad within us all, the pressures we place ourselves under and the value of our freedom and artistic license, incorporating these narrative flourishes stunningly.

A talented cast breathe even more life into Loving Vincent with some excellent voice performances. While it may take a few moments to acclimatise to some of the accents, which feel a tad out of place at times, they are generally impressive and help provide further emotion and weight to the story. Douglas Booth is a magnetic lead, searching for solace as he commences his journey to appease the task at hand; Eleanor Tomlinson provides a stunning, stirring turn brimming with warmth and energy; while Helen McCrory is strong as a domineering, matriarch figure, stern and stone-faced but eventually warming to Roulin. Outside these stand out performance, a number of talented populate the piece: Saoirse Ronan, Jerome Flynn Chris O'Dowd and Aidan Turner all deliver substantial supporting performances, enlivening these character effectively.

Clint Mansell's gorgeous soundtrack truly enhances the emotion embedded within the script, crafting a rousing selection of tracks that enriches the film perfectly. Creating a lavish spectacle both visually and sonically, it is subtle enough to avoid distracting from the main narrative but prolific enough to be fully appreciated and recognised by the audience. It may go down as one of the strongest soundtracks of the year, suitably tender and captivating without ever overpowering.

Plenty to love but not without its flaws, Loving Vincent suffers from a reliance on its formula. It is structured to fall in and out of timelines, to uncover more of Van Gough's final days - but it means momentum is never sustained and the stop-start rhythm prevents the film from becoming its greatest self. Furthermore, the film requires more time to breathe: while 91 minutes is an appropriate length, a tightening in other areas could provide the film with an extra few minutes to streamline its story a little more cleanly.

Loving Vincent is a profound, unique and stunning affair, without a shadow of a doubt. A few jolts in the road aside, the gorgeously-rendered rolling landscapes, artistic boldness, touching story and fantastic cast certify the picture as one of the greatest cinematic experiences of the year. Its uniqueness never becomes a gimmick and the rich visuals are a testament to the skill of the artists whose labour of love and dedication to their craft is showcased for the world to see - and I really hope the world sees it. Loving Vincent is a jaw-dropping feat, every frame quite literally a painting, and a stunning portrait of humanity that will be held up for decades to come.

(8.5/10) 

Summary: Loving Vincent is a stunning, tender and committed artistic triumph. While not without its flaw, it is a phenomenal technical accomplishment, elevated to dazzling heights by a stunning cast, gorgeous score and touching story that unleashes the artist inside us all.