2012 | Docudrama | 111 minutes | French with English subtitles
The gorgeous Andrée Heuschling arrives at the home of famed artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Provence, France. She is there to help in the kitchen but primarily to serve as Renoir’s model. Pierre-Auguste’s son Jean, who received a serious leg wound in one of the World War I battles, returns home to convalesce. The dynamics between the three grow complicated. Jean and Andrée become lovers as Pierre-Auguste becomes strongly dependent on her as his model. Andrée implores Jean to become a filmmaker after the war and cast her in his movies. She also hopes the war injury will keep Jean out of the war. To the bitter disappointment of Pierre-Auguste and Andrée, Jean announces he’s returning to the front as a reconnaissance pilot. Andrée fears Jean will not return alive and that her dream of a film career will be shattered.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 72%
- Metacritic Score: 64
César Awards: Nominated, Best Actor (Michel Bouquet)
Lumiere Awards: Nominated, Best Film; Best Actor (Michel Bouquet); Best Actress (Christa Théret); Best Director (Gilles Bourdos)
The film was selected as a New York Times Critic’s Pick
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There is something in this nostalgic, lovingly photographed film about the transition from the classical art of painting to the new art of the cinema, as embodied by one of the greatest practitioners of each.
RENOIR doesn’t strain to create a deeper sense of artistic continuity between father and son beyond suggesting that Pierre-Auguste and Jean shared a vision expressed in the father’s advice to ‘let yourself be carried through life like a cork on water.’ That sense of fluidity is embodied in the canvases shown in the film, whose figures dissolve into the landscape and into one another in an ethereal mist.
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