The divergent paths of three adult siblings collide when their mother, heiress to her uncle's exceptional 19th century art collection, dies suddenly. Left to come to terms with themselves and their differences, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) a successful New York designer, Frederic (Charles Berling) an economist and university professor in Paris, and Jeremie (Jeremie Renier) a dynamic businessman in China, confront the end of childhood, their shared memories, background and unique visions of the future.
A perfect piece of film-making
- Summer Hours review by GPH
(1) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
This is a remarkably skilled and satisfying piece of film-making. The situation is an ordinary one. A mother dies, seemingly anxious about how her three very different grown-up children are going to handle their inheritance. They have not thought about this until they have to. The film is about how they do so. The circumstance is presented in absorbing detail, the characters, provided with a first-class screenplay, are subtly drawn, brilliantly directed, and quite flawlessly acted, their relations with themselves and each other (and importantly, their children) are consistently compelling, and the outcome, though it keeps one guessing to the very end, is, when it happens, utterly persuasive. There is no gratuitous drama, no violence, no overt sex, no sentimentality, nothing in any way cheap or meretricious. The pace is perfect and whole is also just very good to look at. And it is very much a film: one can't imagine this being done in any other medium. Assayas's touch, in short, is flawlessly sure. Quite brilliant. And in the course of it all, we learn a lot about some fascinating French institutions, especially the Musee d'Orsay, and about a range of reactions to France's past and present. It surely merits ten stars out of five.
Bring on the winter
- Summer Hours review by Jawbreaker
(0) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 2
L'Heure d'été as its known in French, is a typical family drama that only the French seem to persist with. Compared to another recent rental, The Secret Of The Grain, this is a substandard entry. Very disappointing execution from Assayas and a storyline that never really delivers any emotion or drama. Even the normally marvellous Juliette Binoche cannot save Summer Hours.