Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lust for Life

As some of you might know, I adore the acting of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas. Michael's a good actor as well, but Kirk is the best of the two.

In Lust for Life, Douglas plays the brilliant yet troubled artist Vincent van Gogh. We see his slow rise in the art world and his faster decline in mental health. It's a really haunting performance.

Oscar gold went to not Douglas but to supporting actor Anthony Quinn, who plays fellow artist Paul Gauguin. He has some really good lines throughout his short time on screen, but was his Oscar win deserved? Well, I haven't seen any of the other nominees for that year so I can't really say. But he is good.

Vincente Minnelli directed Lust for Life, marking the second of three times he would work with Douglas (they previously worked together on the excellent The Bad and the Beautiful). I give Minnelli points for having the movie look like some of van Gogh's paintings. I also give screenwriter Norman Corwin credit for bring accurate in chronicling van Gogh's troubled life.

So are there any flaws in Lust for Life? Well, unfortunately, yes. The movie would've been better had the story not had that melodramatic undertone. It's still a fine movie but had that flaw been taken of, it would've been great.

My Rating: ****

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