Film Review of Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate

Out of everything life gives us – the possibilities, relationships, uncertainties – what stays is the unconditional pursuit of passion, no matter the cost. At Eternity’s Gate is, by far, one of the most forgiving, lonely, and artistic films I’ve seen. It expands the already knowable sphere of Vincent van Gogh’s life into infinite and chimeric depths.

The film embarks upon his frayed and isolated life in which his deep-rooted, vivid paintings reclaim all that is endured. It’s one thing to view an artist’s restlessness and anxiety on screen. It’s quite another to submit to it. The celestial cinematography and composition awaken you to Vincent’s societal instability; his dysphoric state of mind to resign to soul-crushing materialism.

Willem Dafoe’s charged portrayal of Vincent is schizophrenic and colorful. It’s close to the heart and to nature. At Eternity’s Gate cleanses you of doubts, if there are any, about manifesting a meaningful life. While it’s easier now to disengage oneself from positive metamorphosis and submit to distractions. The effortlessness of passing time is left alone and unquestioned.

Is it enough to remember what’s easily forgotten? To direct no effort toward capturing the evolution of time against nature against humanity? Is it just important to realize your craft when it’s personally rewarding to stage it into your unconscious while you sleep? At Eternity’s Gate awakened the anomaly that exists in my seemingly surfaced life. That it’s more than my reality – it’s a part of nature.