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At Eternity's Gate,

directed by Julian Schnabel

(R, 1 hour, 51 minutes)

Willem Dafoe won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his quietly intense portrayal of the last years of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (he killed himself in 1890 at the age of 37) in this visually dazzling depiction as envisioned by fellow artist Julian Schnabel.

The look of the film, as presented by cinematographer Benoit Delhomme (who's also a painter), reflects van Gogh's love of color, particularly blues and yellows. Much of it is shot in natural light in French locations often frequented by van Gogh, such as Arles, Auvers-Sur-Oise, and the monastery-turned asylum at Saint-Paul de Mausole. It looks, as well it might, like an impressionist painting.

There's little to be learned here about the fragile, unstable artist -- his discussions with cohorts, wine glass in hand, focus more on philosophy and the mechanics of his craft -- but the shots of Dafoe as he sets up easels in bucolic fields and creates what eventually become iconic landscapes are breathtaking.

Rupert Friend plays Vincent's supportive and long-suffering brother Theo, and Oscar Isaac is provocative as van Gogh's friend Paul Gauguin. With Mathieu Amalric, Vincent Perez, Mads Mikkelsen, Emmanuelle Seigner.

Blu-ray, DVD, and digital special features include an audio commentary with director Julian Schnabel and co-writer and co-editor Louise Kugelberg, and three featurettes : "Made by a Painter," "Channeling van Gogh," and "Vision of van Gogh," and audio commentary with director Schnabel and Louise Kugelberg.

Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13, 2 hours, 14 minutes) Although this photogenic bio-pic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury doesn't reveal any sort of evolution in the character over the years, there's no denying that Rami Malek is transformational in the role. Anyone who has a notion to think about Mercury after seeing Bohemian Rhapsody won't recall the face and figure of the real guy; it's graceful, mesmerizing Malek as Mercury who will pop up in memories.

The film won Golden Globes for best motion picture (drama) and best performance in a motion picture (drama) by an actor for Malek. The Blu-ray and DVD include the full "Live Aid" movie performance not seen in the theatrical release. With Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen; directed by Bryan Singer.

Nobody's Fool (R, 1 hour, 50 minutes) A murky, convoluted comedy that nevertheless has some decent moments concerns Tanya (Tiffany Haddish), recently released from prison and seeking support from her seemingly perfect sister Danica (Tika Sumpter) until she figures out that Danica is in online relationship with a man who may not be who she thinks he is. With Omari Hardwick, Whoopi Goldberg, Missi Pyle; written and directed by Tyler Perry.

The Front Runner (R, 1 hour, 53 minutes) If you can get over Hugh Jackman's weird hairstyle, there's a lot to like in his portrayal of Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, whose 1988 presidential campaign disintegrates when he's caught in an unsavory and widely publicized relationship with journalist Donna Rice (Sara Paxton). With Vera Farmiga (as Lee Hart), J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Kaitlyn Dever; written and directed by Jason Reitman.

The Happy Prince (R, 1 hour, 45 minutes) A dreary yet sometimes witty and affecting story -- with accurate period touches -- of self-destructive writer Oscar Wilde's last days, spent as a penniless drifter holed up in a seedy Paris hotel room. Written, directed by and starring Rupert Everett. With Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Chancellor.

At Eternity's Gat

MovieStyle on 02/15/2019

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