Lov­ing Vin­cent” address­es its sub­ject, the Dutch painter Vin­cent van Gogh, with two what-ifs — one mar­velous and fan­tas­ti­cal, the oth­er empir­i­cal and pedes­tri­an. What if his paint­ings, with their wild col­ors and vibrant brush strokes, had been able to move? And what if the bul­let that killed him had been fired by some­one else?

A long and ardu­ous labor of love by Doro­ta Kobiela and Hugh Welch­man, the film turns van Gogh’s work into an unusu­al kind of biopic. Using tens of thou­sands of oil paint­ings com­mis­sioned from scores of artists, the film­mak­ers trans­form famous works of mod­ern art into a hyp­not­ic and beguil­ing car­toon. The peo­ple van Gogh ren­dered on can­vas — the provin­cial French func­tionar­ies, doc­tors, barmaids…