Doug Dillaman’s review published on Letterboxd :
Five runner-ups for my least favourite aesthetic decisions in this film (no order):
1) Shooting a shot like a POV handheld, but then having the person in frame look off camera to talk, and then doing the opposite
2) Bottom of frame blur-o-vision applied arbitrarily
3) Going black and white for literally two shots
4) Going piss-filter for any number of shots
5) Repeating audio we've heard like twenty seconds ago
... all of which pale in offensiveness to the drunken stumbly handheld camera.
What pisses me off double is:
a) Schnabel's playing a confidence game. Other people call Van Gogh's paintings obviously ugly, thus implying that if we find his film ugly that we're just boorish and can't see beauty.
b) The final shot of the film is FUCKING EXTRAORDINARY, and a masterful piece of controlled camera movement and composition. So it's not a lack of ability that's the issue.
All of this, in turn, pisses me off about 1/10th as much as the old canard that Van Gogh embodies, and which he reifies in a dialogue exchange: "Are all painters crazy?" "Only the great ones." Which NO FUCK YOU. You don't have to be crazy or a bad human being to make great art. These are not fucking prerequisites. Stop romanticising this bullshit. Please. Please.
OTOH, Dafoe is legit great and the piano music is beautiful. So not a total wipeout. But fuck I'm angry.