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AT ETERNITY'S GATE (Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh, dir. by Julian Schnabel)

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  • FreemanGriffin
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    This movie is opening here on Thanksgiving. I loved the trailer. Willem Dafoe is a strong possibility for a Best Actor nomination. Julian Schnabel was a Best Director nominee for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The trailer looked especially beautiful and I am looking forward to the camera work and production design. Oscar Isaac looked quite interesting in his role in the movie in the trailer too.

    I think some of you have already seen this movie? What were your thoughts about it? As more of us see it we can share our thoughts and impressions.

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    Marco11
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    I saw it in Venice and, as reported, it’s a film I really liked. I think it’s quite a unique experience without becoming unaccessible – it’s not a film reserved to cinephiles, it’s more mainstream than it sounds. One might not fall in love with it, but you can’t deny that there’s a strong vision and an original filmmaking behind it. I’ve just read an article about the way it was shot and the cinematography choices are something that convinces me even more after months.
    William Defoe is great and, considering his career, this should give him his long awaited and deserved Oscar. If not him, then Ethan Hawke; but none of them will probably happen. The rest of the cast doesn’t have enough material to get a nomination imo.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    I have been wondering if it can get a Best Cinematography nomination? Based on the trailer it looks like they put much care into the camera work and it looks stunning… I will be seeing the movie on Thursday!

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    24fanatic
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    I can’t wait to see this! I absolutely LOVED The Diving Bell & The Butterfly. And man oh man did I want William Dafoe to win last year for The Florida Project. Despite the great reviews that the performance/film are getting, I think the critics will really need to back Dafoe in order for him to score a nomination.

    The consensus for Best Actor is shaping up to be: (in that order)

    1) Bradley Cooper
    2) Christian Bale
    3) Viggo Morretensen
    4) Rami Malek
    5) Ethan Hawke

    Unfortunately, I think critics will back Hawke more, but you never know. There’s a chance he could get that fifth spot OR… He could take Viggo’s spot if the negative press picks up against him… which other studios might make happen in order to give their contenders a better shot at the win.

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    Harmon Van deth
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    Interesting how At Eternitys Gate is doing quite well at the box office.

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    Riley
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    Saw this at the Whistler Film Festival. I do think that Dafoe can take LAFCA—a group that loved Paterson should eat this up—and his path to an Oscar nomination will become more clear then. The film was watchable, but I am not sure that it holds up to scrutiny. I disagree with Julian Schnabel’s choices. I get that not every biopic has to be a full portrait of a figure’s life (and Jackie was even my favourite film two years ago), but this seemed incomplete even by its own standards. Several characters call Van Gosh an alcoholic, but we never see him drink for example. Changing his suicide to a murder was weird too. Dafoe was twenty-five years older than his character, which you can do, but you need to age up his brother accordingly. Rupert Friend played merely three years younger, so you have a pair of brothers who supposedly grew up together, but Dafoe is twenty-six years older than Friend—enough to be his father, which made it distracting. Also distracting was that they went out of their way to shoot Dafoe’s right side after he cut off his left ear; I guess that they had a budget. I like this cast, which also included Oscar Isaac and Mads Mikkelsen. Dafoe was good, but maybe the camera was a bit too close; I saw some cracks and would not call him undeniable. I wish that I had finished Loving Vincent for comparison.

    "I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."

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    FreemanGriffin
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    I was extremely disappointed by this movie. I found it unbearable and dull ): I took Dafoe out of my predictions. The fifth slot will either go to Gosling or Hawke, not Dafoe imo. (Bale, Cooper, Malek and Mortensen have the other four nominations).

    I was hoping that the camera work would dazzle me but it didn’t. The supporting performances did not build or grow in any way. The ending was foolish. I resented having my time wasted. A real huge disappointment as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is one of the my all-time favorite movies and I expected more from Julian Schnabel.

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    Ivo Stoyanov
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    Changing his suicide to a murder was weird too. Dafoe was twenty-five years older than his character, which you can do, but you need to age up his brother accordingly. Rupert Friend played merely three years younger, so you have a pair of brothers who supposedly grew up together, but Dafoe is twenty-six years older than Friend—enough to be his father, which made it distracting. Also distracting was that they went out of their way to shoot Dafoe’s right side after he cut off his left ear; I guess that they had a budget.

    I agree with you about most points, but about those three:

    1. Most historians think that Gogh was murdered, yeah, there are some debates, but in general, it is considered that he was murdered (the conclusion in Loving Vincent is the same). To be honest, a suicide really sounds like a joke, no one would shoot himself in a forest, so he can walk many hours with the wound to his house to look for help.

    2. The age of Dafoe was difficult to deal with, but he was supposedly 37 like in real life, he did looked younger and also he was supposedly in a very bad shape, this was the supposed explanation I think. But I do agree that Friend looked too young and too handsome in comparison.

    3. This was a clear decision of Schnabel that I disliked very much, it was not because of the budget, it was because he did not wanted to show morbid scenes, that is why he did not showed us the drinking, any kind of sex, the wound and the cicatrice, the actual cutting of the ear, the fighting with Paul Gaugin, the supposed theory that they were lovers (they are showed as such in Loving Vincent)…

    I respected the clear artistic vision of Schnabel, but I also did not agree with many of his choices. He wanted to sumerges in Gogh’s mind and he did it, but it was not the best decision if we are talking about our experience as viewers.

    Also, it is obvious that many actors are not that good with close ups, I appreciated even more what Moss is doing in THT, I think that Dafoe (almost undeniable in a very difficult and demanding role), Seigner and Amalric were good, but Isaac, Friend and Mikkelsen were not very natural or convincing in some scenes.

    Another unfortunate thing is that Loving Vincent is about the exact same period of the life and the same events of Gogh, it is told very different, but it is the same, so it was a little tiresome for me in some aspects.

    However, I did like many aspect and scenes in the movie, the photography was beautiful, the homage to Gogh. I gave it 7 from 10 in IMDB. But yeah, I also think that Dafoe is not going to make it.

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 22 hours ago by  Ivo Stoyanov.
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