An unexceptional film about an exceptional man, this respectful but tame portrait of Paul Gauguin fails to capture the artistic and personal ferocity that prompted Edgar Degas to say of the French artist that he "painted like a wolf." The picture focuses on a short period in Gauguin's
life (1893-94) when he returned to Paris from Tahiti ready to rock the art world with his colorful, exotic paintings of native girls, only to be all but ignored. Gauguin (Donald Sutherland) appears as a stubborn iconoclast who also craves acceptance and companionship. At the center of the film is
the painter's relationship with four women: the stoic Danish wife he left behind with the...