At Eternity's Gate Reviews

Page 1 of 2
December 16, 2018
A self-indulgent film, terribly directed--unless you like about 15 minutes of following him walking with no dialogue
December 15, 2018
Great uplifting movie, I was surprised how positive I was at the ending. Despite all the wandering the voice seemed very clear. Very pleasant and endearing execution.
½ December 14, 2018
I could suspend my disbelief until, during one of his many long walks, Willem Dafoe paused in front of a panoramic view of the French countryside to relieve himself. In short: this movie made me laugh and cry for all the wrong reasons.
December 13, 2018
Loved it. Will appeal to artists most as they will appreciate the unconventional music, camera angles, editing, dialogue. I will see it again ASAP. Really felt like I was in Van Gogh's head and understood, a little, what drove and motivated him.
December 13, 2018
This is the first time I got up and left a movie. The constant shaking of the camera made me physically sick so 20 minutes in, I was out! Awful.
December 11, 2018
Non solo un'interpretazione magistrale ed unica di un grandissimo attore, ma anche un film che osa e sperimenta nuove tecniche di regia che non avevo mai visto prima. Per avvicinarsi alla mente controversa e geniale dell'artista il coraggioso regista sperimenta uno stile tutto personale che rende l'esperienza innovativa e nuova. Certamente non si tratta di un'opera convenzionale neanche dal punto di vista narrativo e biografico, riceviamo invece degli spunti, dei piccoli cenni di vita dell'artista che rendono la narrazione frammentata ma allo stesso convincente e coerente con la figura protagonista che viene raccontata. Difficile dire se il film pu˛ rientrare nella categoria dei migliori del 2018, ma senza dubbio quest'anno non riusciremo a vedere miglior interpretazione.
½ December 11, 2018
There´┐ 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)s not much of a story to tell. Struggling artist descends into madness with having sold only a pairing or two during his lifetime. No one understood him. The more interesting story of Van Gogh begins after his death, but that's another film. Some beautiful cinematography but annoyingly choppy film editing. Is there something wrong with the digital video? Soundtrack detracted from the film. Director should have stuck to one language. In France Van Gogh would have spoken Fremch to everyone except his Dutch brother. Willem DaFoe gives an outstanding performance as the emotionally tormented artist.
½ December 11, 2018
I've only walked out of two movies in my life, both for the same reasons. (Really bad movies can sometimes be very entertaining). Unfortunately, I found my reaction to "At Eternity's Gate" was the same as my reaction to "The Passenger," pretentious, slow, lacking story, character, plot, theme, you name it. Further, obsessed with meaningless visuals that are suppose to be rich in meaning and convey something emotional but fail. Oh, BTW, Dafoe is just awful. Every time he was in a shot I kept wishing for some other character to take the screen. I got through 60 minutes of this dreck. If you like your art films on the nose, not insightful and filled with filled with non-stop vistas that are suppose to convey the subjects view of the world, you will love this film. If not, stay away.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2018
Every year there is one end-of-year prestige film by a director who has done notable, but somewhat under-the-radar work previously that I have no idea about given I haven't seen any of that under-the-radar work and this year that director is Julian Schnabel.

"Now I just think about my relationship to eternity."

It's easy to appreciate what Schnabel was going for in At Eternity's Gate, his introspective portrait of Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe), but I just had a more enlightening and emotionally affecting discussion about mortality with my four-year-old. Observes, but adds little to the conversation.
December 9, 2018
Let yourself go limp and let the story unfold. Helps if you educate yourself on Vangoh and Gougan. Loved it
½ December 8, 2018
A beautifully filmed movie that pays homage to a troubled and brilliant painter. Willem Dafoe gives a great slow-burn of a performance that is his career's best.
½ December 8, 2018
Terrible. An affront to Van Gogh not to mention Willem Dafoe who could not control the terrible camera work. The operating was so shaky it was literally hard to see what was going on. The cameraman is actually a pro so I can only assume that this is what Schnabel the director wanted.
December 7, 2018
After the first 10 minutes I was ready to walk out of "At Eternity's Gate" and I was waiting for Allen to say that we should leave but he didn't. Talk about walking-if they cut all the scenes showing van Gogh walking, especially those of just from lower shins down, in silence, well except for excruciating music on the soundtrack, this would have been considered a short.
Sixty-two years ago (1956) there was a 'Hollywood' version called "Lust For Life" starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The movie was based on a story by Irving Stone and written by Norman Corwin and this movie is written by Jean Claude Carrierre, Louise Kugelberg and Julian Schnabel, the latter also directing with it being his version, based on fact, letters, speculation and fiction.
The major plus of both films is showing the authentic paintings of Vincent van Gogh and, to a certain degree, his road to insanity. Did van Gogh kill himself by shooting himself in the stomach as Stone says or did 2 kids shoot and kill him?
The scenes between Douglas and Quinn are electric while the scenes in "At Eternity's Gate" between Rupert Friend, as Theo, Vincent's brother, especially one in a hospital, are moving and those between Oscar Isaac, as Gauguin, showing the respect he had for van Gogh, enlightening. Vladimir Consigny as a young doctor shows compassion for the man who sits before him after cutting his ear off while Mads Mikkelsen as a priest who is no match for van Gogh's interpretation of the bible. The women's roles are secondary and neither add or take away from the film.
William Dafoe, as van Gogh, in his 60s, playing the latter in his 30s, shows more in his face of the pain of life that the artist probably did.
Sadly the performances of Dafoe and Friend, with the paintings of van Gogh, are not enough to make the picture worthwhile while the offbeat piano tinkering of music by Tatiana Lisovskaya, the endless walking scenes, the handheld camera shots and the lack of drama make this more of a 'skip it' than a 'must see'.
½ December 4, 2018
A flawed movie saved by Willem Dafoe's presence. As in many recent movies the music soundtrack is way too loud and distracting.
½ December 3, 2018
I have no idea who reviewed this movie, there is no way I saw the same film as all these good reviewer, it was by far one of the worst films I've ever seen. The only good thing about this film was the casting.

Here are some of the many reasons this movie is complete trash:

- Way too much walking around pointlessly for filler.
- Very little character development.
- Whoever made this movie has no idea what being insane or losing sanity is.
- Willem Dafoes character as Van Gogh experienced zero regret, pain, anguish, or really any emotion concerning the lack of his ear, which is entirely unrealistic. A person doesn't lose a body part and then not acknowledge that even once in a some form of terror.
- They didn't even get the facts right about the reason he cut his ear off. It had more to do with his brother getting married that Paul leaving.
- Mad Mikkelson was only in the film for 5 minutes. So under utilized.
- The out of focus over artsy shots they tried throughout the whole film just made it feel like they were trying way to hard to make visual art and to be edgy.
- Willem Dafoe is a great actor and looks so much like Van Gogh however this is one of the worst scripts I've ever seen. How do you ruin a film with such great actors?
- I wanted this to be over for the last hour, I fought the urge many times to get up and leave.
- The ambiguity surrounding his brothers potentially incestuous relationship and then only addressed in that one scene and the woman he got physical with, not providijg any details about point a to point b. Left that to be interpreted as rape.
- All the dialogue between characters was painfully trite.
- No purpose to anything, a two hour chaotic mess, pointless ambiguity that went nowhere for no reason and dishonored the name Van Gogh.
- I genuinely do not know how they managed to fuck this up so bad.
December 3, 2018
This is the best movie I have seen all year. While the cinematography took some getting used to, this combined with the beautiful direction, insightful writing and brilliant performance of Willem Defoe make At Eternity's Gate a beautiful film that every artist of every medium should see.
December 2, 2018
Excellent performance by Willem Dafoe
December 1, 2018
Dafoe is amazing but nothing can overcome the camera work. There are so many ways Vincent's descent in to madness could have been portrayed, but not by shaky camera work and the split diopter gimmick. After 90 minutes it wears on the viewer. There is some great dialogue that conveys the vibrancy that Vincent saw in the natural world around him, but the camera failed to show it.
½ November 30, 2018
AT ETERNITY'S GATE is a very well acted and executed film. It was moving and worth seeing on the big screen. Thumbs up!
November 30, 2018
It made me physically ill, and also the two others I went to see it with. I was watching the camera shake uncontrollably like a 5-year-old. These sequences would go on for long stretches. Soon beads of cold sweat dripped from my brow and my stomach turned. Did I drink some back hal-and half? What did I eat? I watched the movie more. Shake Shake Shake. Now I am in full nausea. "Should I go to the men's room and throw up? What is causing this?" I closed my eyes. Nausea subsides! "Oh, great, I can stop from throwing up from motion sickness in this movie as long as I keep my eyes closed. But that is STUPID!" I would open my eyes a crack to see if the camera stopped shaking. Waiting for a moment when it settled. "What arrogant son of a bitch would do this to his audience." Do not see this movie if you are affected by motion sickness. It was almost as severe as the roller coaster at Disneyland.
Page 1 of 2