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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

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