The Cote d'Azur, 1915. The great painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir is in his twilight years, tormented by the loss of his wife and the news that his son Jean has been wounded in WW1. When a young girl enters his idyllic Mediterranean world, Pierre-Auguste rejuvenates and becomes newly inspired by her beauty and spirit. But when Jean returns home to convalesce - and in the face of his father's fierce opposition - he falls in love with the muse, and within the battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow.
Enjoyable French film about Renoir + his film director son Jean
- Renoir review by PV
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You rated this film: 4
I really enjoyed this film. If you dislike French-style slow films about 19th C artists, you won't like it though; if you love art and know about Renoir, you will.
Interesting to see the set-up Renoir had in 1915 - as an old man aged 74 who has kids with a variety of female followers. The characters of the old man and his sons are well-drawn, as is that of the artist's model and the maids. The youngest son's feral and depressive character is especially well-drawn.
Of course, the Jean Renoir (the painter's son) in the film became a famous film director in the mid-20th century.
The subtitles are good and the visuals are painterly.
I enjoyed this so give it 4 stars. It ends a bit abruptly, but it has to end somewhere!
This film relies on strong visuals, with the cinematography reminiscent of Renoir's paining style. Apart from these visuals, the film is painfully slow and rather dull. It focuses on a period of Renoir's later life when he is wheelchair-bound. The story focuses more on the arrival of a young woman who models for him and her impact on his family. If I hadn't been absorbed with following the language alongside the subtitles, I would have stopped watching it within the first half hour, and abandoning a film is something I very rarely do!
It’s funny that one of the most expendable and unimportant characters in Renoir is Renoir himself. The story chronicles his later life but really depicts the effect the arrival of a young woman has on him and his household. unexpected and ever so slightly pointless, Renoir is a story of love in its many forms and the appreciation of everything beautiful.
The film follows the arrival of Andree (Christa Theret) and the effect she has on the estate of renowned painter Pierre Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet). She applies to be his new model but when his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers) returns she finds herself between the two as she begins to change the lives of the people living in the Renoir house.
A slow but steady love affair is chronicled as Andree begins to integrate herself into the household. Theret’s Andree is a confusing woman, one filled with amibition, greed and strong opinions but still an extremely loving and devoted woman. She doesn’t control the men around her but enhance them as Pierre gains some of his vitality back and Jean finds a touchstone to bring him back from the frontlines of the war.
Detailed and beautifully filmed, Renoir is a pretty picture but an incomplete one. The ideas it has are half baked and nowhere near developed enough but there is no denying the simple power of the story and the slowly encroaching effect of the war Pierre is too old to fight. Although the film tries to sideline the importance of the war and Pierre tries to ignore it, the film feels like the calm before the storm in many ways, the story Andree, Jean and Pierre are putting off.
The film ends on a sombre note and one that leaves many questions but it feels right to end on a feeling of ambiguity as if the painting and imagination that Andree brought back to life will carry on after this story ends.