DVD REVIEW: Lust For Life

Movie •••• Picture/Sound •••½ Extras ••½
Fifty years after its release, Vincente Minnelli's beautifully stylized film on the life of Vincent Van Gogh remains Hollywood's best biopic on an artist. Kirk Douglas gives one of the cinema's most passionate performances, and Anthony Quinn matches him in an Oscar-winning turn as Paul Gauguin. Nighttime interiors are darker than I expected from this DVD, but contrast and shadow detail are excellent. And the colors, so carefully calibrated by Minnelli and his cinematographers Russell Harlan and Freddie Young to match Van Gogh's paintings, are gorgeous. The sound is a 5.1-channel mix that thankfully doesn't overdo the surround effects. There's only one extra, but it's a scholarly commentary that offers all the information you could possibly want. [NR] English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital mono; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.