Brush With Fate Starred Thomas Gibson, Glenn Close: Writer Susan Vreeland Was Amazing [Opinion]

Thomas Gibson, Glenn Close, and Ellen Burstyn starred in Brush With Fate in 2003. “The acting was quite good” surmised a reviewer at Need Coffee. That’s a bit of an understatement, to say the least.

Brush With Fate was based on a novel by Susan Vreeland titled Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Ms. Vreeland passed away on August 23, of this year according to the Los Angeles Times. A true artist, Susan Vreeland was 71-years-old at the time of her death.

Thomas Gibson and Glenn Close were powerful in their performance of Susan Vreeland’s creative masterpiece. Thomas Gibson portrays an art teacher and talented painter. Brush With Fate is a weighty film. Almost immediately the deep philosophical dialog begins as Glenn Close portrays Cornelia Engelbrecht expresses her feelings about art in the early moments of the film.

Glenn Close portrays Cornelia. Hardly one for chatting about the weather, Cornelia opens up to Thomas Gibson’s character Richard quickly, as she senses a kindred spirit. It doesn’t take long for her to show Gibson the breathtaking painting the entire film is about.

Thomas Gibson fans, Susan Vreeland readers, and art enthusiasts are invited to see the entire movie in the video below. It is an amazing film. Enjoy Glenn Close and Thomas Gibson’s compelling performance.

Novelist Susan Vreeland, in the interview below talks about her childhood influences and fascination with art.

Ms. Vreeland’s vision for the novel was amazingly unique. Girl in Hyacinth Blue is a story about a painting and the lives of the people it touched. The movie is a small scale enactment of history, seen through the perspective of the owners of a lost painting.

Glenn Close from the era of Brush With Fate
Glenn Close from the era of 'Brush With Fate' [Image by Stephen Chernin/AP Images]
Thomas Gibson starred in Brush with Fate
Thomas Gibson [Image by Star Max/AP Images]

Brush With Fate had a challenge, squeezing all those details from Ms. Vreeland’s novel Girl in Hyacinth Blue into a single made for TV movie, and a Hallmark special at that. It would have made an excellent mini-series, but the actors and screenwriters made the most of the time they had to create a true work of art.

Susan Vreeland an artist and writer, who has always loved all forms of art, but especially paintings according to the Los Angeles Times, who quoted Ms. Vreeland.

“To fill my mind with rich, glorious, long-established culture wrought by human desire, daring, and faith.”

From childhood, Susan Vreeland was sensitive and imaginative, and as a child had trouble sorting fact from fiction, as she once said.

“I was a too-sensitive child, unable to distinguish between truth and fiction, prone to nightmares, gouged by cruelty.”


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Thomas Gibson and Glenn Close bring authenticity to the recreation of an extremely candid and authentic novel by Susan Vreeland.

[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/GettyImages]