Willem Dafoe made a valiant stride towards Oscar gold with his supporting role in last year’s wonderful The Florida Project, and the journeyman actor will likely do so again with his turn as troubled painter Vincent van Gogh, who he’ll play in Julian Schnabel’s upcoming At Eternity’s Gate.
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“This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh’s letters,” reads a description of the film. Truly, the film doesn’t resonate as a boilerplate biopic in its new trailer, which finds the Diving Bell and the Butterfly director’s camera oscillating between tight closeups and disorienting abandon as Dafoe’s van Gogh grapples with doctors, priests, and colleagues. And, yes, it will explore just why the man thought it appropriate to chop off his ear.
At Eternity’s Gate opens on November 16th in Los Angeles and New York, then will expand into select markets on November 21st. It features an incredible supporting cast with Mads Mikkelsen, Oscar Isaac, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Rupert Friend.
See the trailer below.