At Eternity’s Gate What did Vincent van Gogh see, exactly? Julian Schnabel provides one of the best films about the artist with “At Eternity’s Gate,” a fierce, immediate and often inspired response to van Gogh’s life and work. Not everything in Schnabel’s film works. But it’s both serious and cinematically vital, with Willem Dafoe’s persuasive, movingly enacted van Gogh doing a great deal of the heavy lifting from the neck up, with his haunted eyes alone. The title of the screenplay, written by Schnabel, Louise Kugelberg and Jean-Claude Carrière, refers to the painting “Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate),” produced two months before van Gogh’s probable suicide. “At Eternity’s Gate” is a smaller, less flamboyant achievement, but it’s quite something. It sees van Gogh the way he might’ve seen the world around him, threatening and supple.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune —
Beautiful Boy “Relapse is a part of recovery,” a clinic worker says to a distraught David Sheff, played by Steve Carell in the new film “Beautiful Boy.” David’s bright, unraveling son, Nic, played by Timothee Chalamet, has begun to face his addictions head-on. But on the road to success, failures lurk around every corner, along with chemical demons. It’s a tricky and largely successful back-and-forth. The simple two-person scenes work best. Chalamet’s terrific throughout, accessing and deploying every kind of emotion in unpredictable combinations. A lot of “Beautiful Boy” is necessarily hard to take, though the script softens the roughest of Nic’s travails. Is this why the movie’s anguish feels more indicated than inhabited? Still: You can’t fault the performers much. Or Chalamet, at all.
— Michael Phillips
Bohemian Rhapsody At the center of the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the kind of performance that’s less acting than it is the channeling of a spirit from another realm. Rami Malek takes to the role of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury with a studious intensity, making manifest