Biography | Drama
Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald, Pamela Brown, Everett Sloane, Henry Daniell, Madge Kennedy, Noel Purcell, Niall MacGinnis, Jill Bennett, Lionel Jeffries, Laurence Naismith, Eric Pohlmann, Jeanette Sterke, Toni Gerry
It tells the story of brilliant but tortured artistic genius Vincent van Gogh (Kirk Douglas).
I've always loved van Gogh's work, still if it wasn't for Birgit, I would have never seen "Lust for Life", this brilliant, melodramatic yet effective biography about this very interesting artist.
The story, which focuses on the struggle of van Gogh to express himself, lingering on his deep affection for his brother Theo and his love-hate relationship with fellow artist Paul Gauguin, although it is not completely accurate, is beautifully told and very engaging.
That, however, isn't the reason I loved "Lust for Life" so much. The film was able not only to engage but to make you feel passionate about the passions of such a brilliant yet underappreciated artist as well as a very sensitive man.
There's another excellent aspect of the film, the colours. Every single scene shows a deep respect for van Gogh's palette and it's a wonderful, heartbreaking attempt to recreate the Dutch's view of the world.
At last but not least, there's Kirk Douglas in the lead role. Not only he has a resemblance to van Gogh, but he fully committed himself to the character, and it feels like watching the man himself, not an actor playing a role. Douglas delivers an astonishing performance as he shows a wide range of emotions, not only through his voice, face, and body language, but with silences as well.
And it's also nice that he is supported by great actors among which Anthony Quinn stands out as Paul Gauguin, a another very interesting character that is unfortunately slightly underdeveloped.