Artist Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Basquiat) takes us through the incredible highs and crushing lows of Vincent van Gogh’s years in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, a period in which the friendless artist, despite criticism, self doubt and mental illness, created some of the art world’s most transcendent paintings. Willem Dafoe, born to the role, gives his subject a rare presence, backed up by Rupert Friend and Oscar Isaac. I usually frown on show-off directors that overpower their subjects with cinematic tricks, but Schnabel’s techniques convey perfectly the artist’s state of mind.

November 8 (111 min)