Vincent & Theo (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vincent & Theo (1990)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The relationship between the obsessive, brilliant painter Vincent Van Gogh and his more practical brother Theo is at the center of director Robert Altman's well-received biography, originally produced as a miniseries for European television. Now universally acknowledged as masterpieces, Vincent Van Gogh's works were ignored in his lifetime, despite the best efforts of Theo, a struggling gallery owner. When he fails to make a profit from his brother's work, Theo finds himself torn between art and commerce, a conflict deepened by Vincent's increasing emotional neediness. Soon, the situation worsens, and both brothers are forced to struggle with depression and madness. Altman's distinctive directorial approach avoids clichés, allowing his leads to create contradictory and sometimes unlikable characters. Tim Roth captures Vincent's devotion to his art, his difficult personality, and his descent into mental illness without resorting to histrionics, while Paul Rhys provides equally proficient work as the more repressed Theo. The cinematography by Jean Lepine illuminates the links between Altman's trademark wandering camera and Van Gogh's impressionistic painting style.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Julian Mitchell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 23, 2005
Hemdale Film Corporation


Tim Roth
as Vincent van Gogh
Paul Rhys
as Theodore van Gogh
Jip Wijngaarden
as Sien Hoornik
Vladimir Yordanoff
as Paul Gauguin
Wladimir Yordanoff
as Paul Gaugin
Jean-Pierre Cassel
as Dr. Paul Gachet
Bernadette Giraud
as Margueritte Gachet
Adrian Brine
as Uncle Cent
Jean-François Perrie...
as Dr. Paul Gachet
Vincent Vallier
as Rene Valadon
Hans Kesting
as Andries Bonger
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Vincent & Theo

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10)

This was Altman's most watchable theatrical feature in about a decade, and the actors always keep you guessing.

Full Review… | October 10, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This masterwork operates in the intimate, thoughtful vein of the great BBC bios of artistic figures.

Full Review… | October 10, 2007
Top Critic

[A] film that generates the feeling that we are in the presence of a man in the act of creation.

Full Review… | July 14, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Nowhere does Altman sermonise about the artist's greatness; his achievement is allowed to speak for itself. If only more film-makers had such confidence and integrity.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The enjoyment in Vincent and Theo comes more from the director's attention to art history than from his ability to interpret it anew.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

An Altman masterpiece.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Vincent & Theo


In spite of its awful score and how the narrative appears at times as fragmented as the characters' psyches, this biopic impresses us with a beautiful cinematography and art direction, as though seen through Van Gogh's own eyes, and it has Tim Roth and Paul Rhys in fantastic performances.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"Vincent and Theo" starts out with a modern day auction of paintings by Vincent van Gogh going for a fortune, then fades to Vincent(Tim Roth), a struggling painter in his native Holland talking to his brother, Theo(Paul Rhys), an art dealer living in Paris. Vincent is barely surviving on what allowance his brother can give to him. Even through all of this, Vincent shacks up with a prostitute/model, Sien(JIp Wijngaarden).[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Vincent and Theo" is a biopic that aims to focus on the relationship between Vincent and Theo van Gogh but there is too little of that in the film.(What there is, is similar to that of a banker to a customer.) This approach puts too much emphasis on the none-too-interesting personal life of Theo. However, Tim Roth does give a great performance as the troubled painter but it is unsettling having the leads played by two British actors while most of the supporting characters are played by Dutch and French actors.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]The movie also seeks to take a more authentic approach to the life of Vincent van Gogh than previous movies might have.(I saw "Lust for Life" but too long ago to really comment on it.) In this movie, van Gogh is a painter who goes against the fashion of the day and takes more interest in real life than in still life.(For example, he paints Sien squatting over a chamber pot.) But it does not go far enough and simply comes off as stodgy.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

While I sentimentally love the Doctor Who version of Vincent Van Gogh, this is the definitive dramatic take of an artist on the brink of madness with few pennies to his name.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Vincent & Theo Quotes

– Submitted by Gary C (6 months ago)

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