Vincent & Theo

Genre: Biography, Drama; Starring: Paul Rhys, Tim Roth, Wladimir Yordanoff; Director: Robert Altman; Runtime (in minutes): 138; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Hemdale Home Video

Robert Altman’s Vincent & Theo wastes no time delivering its howl of rage at a hypocritical world: After opening on a Christie’s auction where van Gogh’s ”Sunflowers” sells for $22.5 million, Altman cuts to the disheveled Vincent (Tim Roth) in a dim hovel fuming at his brother and benefactor, Theo (Paul Rhys), and renouncing his own calling as Christian evangelist to be a painter of ”real life.” Altman (M*A*S*H, Nashville) has crafted a gorgeous movie, and as a re-creation of brutally tragic lives Vincent & Theo is superb. But as narrative cinema, it is a 140-minute descent into inevitable, unenviable despair. At the end we are not so much enlightened as relieved that Vincent’s suffering is at last over. B

Originally posted October 18 1991 — 12:00 AM EDT

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