Movie Review: You will be artistically transformed when inside the comfortable confines of the great French painter’s safe haven, as this film focuses on a time in the twilight years of Renoir’s life. War lays heavy on the mind of the famous French impressionist as his son Jean returns home wounded. The artist’s newest muse seems to lighten the hearts of all.
What’s it About: Though you feel warm and safe inside the Renoir compound, it is apparent that war is taking its toll outside the gates and inside the Artist’s heart as his two eldest sons are dedicated to serving their country. Inside the Renoir safe zone is an artist’s paradise, a beautiful backdrop for Renoir to still paint his masterpieces. The backdrop is inspiring, but it is the women that Renoir is surrounded with that carry him forward. They literally carry him.
Who’s the Man?: Pierre-Auguste Renoir is encompassed by Michel Bouquet, an obviously seasoned actor who brings a likeability and complexity to the iconic artist. Michel seems to use his eyes to translate tragedy and a classic timing to produce charm. Vincent Rottiers comes to us as a war-torn Jean Renoir, who finds that his dedication to his country may surpass his dedicated to love. A Frenchman? Really?
Who’s that Girl?: In the first moments of the film, you see the self-proclaimed artist/model/actress Andree Hueschling riding her bike on her way to the Renoir compound. It is from these moments that you realize you want to know everything about this woman. Christa There’s performance as Andree is the real work of art of this film. Her character on a couple of occasions admirers the “mysteriousness of American Actresses”, but it is the mystery and allure of this French Actress that carries Renoir.
Why should I go? Curiosity about the life of Renoir may be subdued and the appreciation of the subtle beauty of French filmmaking.
Is it any good? During the film, Pierre Renoir, the eldest son, attempts to deter his younger brother Jean from becoming a filmmaker, saying that “filmmaking should be left to the Americans, the French have too much history and pain.” This film does not have the entertainment value of an “American Film”, but it does have what the French are famous for, art and love.
Renoir Score: 7
The scoring scale is out of 11 total possible points. Why 11 and not 10? “Because this goes to 11” – Spinal Tap
There is still a great line up of films screening at the Florida Film Festival, check out: www.floridafilmfestival.com
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