Thursday, May 9, 2013


In French with English subtitles

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919) was one of the most prolific of all the French Impressionist painters. During his sixty year career as an artist it is said he painted more than 6,000 canvasses. He suffered his first severe rheumatoid arthritis attack in his late ‘50’s. Within a few years his hands and feet were so damaged by the disease he had to use a wheelchair to sit or move about.

Michel Bouquet: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painter
Christa Theret: 15-year-old actress and model Andreé Heuschling
Thomas Doret: Renoir’s third son 14-year-old Claude “Coco”
Vincent Rottiers: Renoir’s second son 21-year-old Jean

Covering the last five years of his life and how one woman had an impact on both Renoir pére and fils, the film unfortunately has several shortcomings:
  • there is no background information regarding the painter’s affliction; something as important as that should not be ignored
  • the rather stilted acting by both sons is something you might expect from students taking Acting 101 but not in a movie of this calibre
  • unexpected events pop up without any sort of explanation such as when one of Renoir’s former models (who has not been heard from for years) all of a sudden shows up at a picnic

On the other hand the cinematography and use of natural light beautifully recreate the sense of the place where Renoir lived and incorporated in his paintings and Bouquet’s performance is top notch.

for full frontal nudity and brief strong language.

  • Renoir pére asks his son to put a necklace around the model’s neck insisting it is the emerald one but the only necklace is one of pearls
  • When Jean asks the price of some material he is told it is 5 francs a meter but the subtitles read 5 francs a foot.

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