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Renoir [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Michèle Gleizer
  • Directors: Gilles Bourdos
  • Producers: Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Soda Pictures Ltd.
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Oct 2013
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EB88M1Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,349 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A flame-haired teenager captivates the lives of the famous painter and his young son, in director Gilles Bourdos's visually evocative drama. After arriving at the house of Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) in the summer of 1915, vibrant and ambitious 15-year-old redhead Andrée Heuschling (Christa Theret), soon becomes a muse to the aged and arthritic painter, inspiring a new lease of life in his twilight years. But the realities of the First World War intrude on the idyllic Cote d'Azur setting with the sudden arrival home of Renoir's son Jean (Vincent Rottiers), an officer in the French army, to convalesce after being wounded in action. As the complex relationship between father and son gradually unfolds, an aimless Jean soon finds himself falling helplessly under Andrée's spell.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bodil Marie Sørensen on 28 May 2014
Format: DVD
South of France in sunshine, summer-rain and sudden gusts of wind, stirring the pastoral idyll in Renoir's house and garden.
Stirred, but not shaken, life goes quietly on in this small realm, where Renoir is a benevolent , loved, and loveable King.
And there is drama there, contrary to opinions expressed in many reviews: The idyll is not stirred by rain and wind alone, but by the lovely, beautiful Nymph who has been hired to model for the old Painter.
Where she walks, stirred feelings follow in her footsteps. Not only her enchanting figure, but her nature as well, make men, boys and women in Renoir's household restless and sleepless.
The drama of the film lies hidden in the contrasts between the enchanting Nymph and the conflicts she creates by her mere presence, and the contrast between the pastoral idyll in Renoir's garden, and the War, World War 1, going on right outside the garden fence.
Each time our Nymph, Andree, leaves the Renoir estate, to go home, we see glimpses from a whole different world: Dark, dirty, dangerous.
Finally there is the drama hidden in the fact, that Renoir loves one of his sons more than the other two.
The lucky object of fatherly love is his son Jean. But both sons( the third one being away to fight in the war) miss their Father to take an interest in them.
Old King Renoir is obviously infatuated with his muse, Andree, and his Son Jean is as well.
Young Jean realizes a love affair with Andree. This is where a drama might be expected, but turns out to be the least dramatic of it all: Old Renoir asks Young Renoir to arrange for Andree to move in with them, in order that life may go on undisturbed and peacefull.
Do yourself a favor and see this film.
Bodil Marie - In Remembrance of Things Past.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Oct 2013
Format: DVD
"Renoir" (2012 release from France; 110 min.) is NOT an overview or bio-pic on the Impressionist painter's life. Instead, it retells one particular summer, set in 1915 in southern France. As the movie opens, we see a young woman named Andrée (played by Christa Theret) approaching the house of the Renoir family. Possessing a stunning beauty, she was recommended to be Renoir's newest model. Renoir at that point is already in his mid-70s, and endures various physical ailments. In the house there appear to be a group of women who at one point may have been models but ended up staying as maids. We learn that Renoir has three sons, of which the oldest two are now fighting in World War I. Then about one-third into the movie, one of them, the middle brother Jean, returns home from the war, having been heavily wounded. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first and foremost, this movie is one of the most gorgeous looking movies I have seen in a long time. A number of the scenes recreate Renoir painting and to me it feels like every scene in the movie is like a painting come to life. Second, this movie moves as snail's pace, and I mean this as a compliment. It is, I suppose, in part a reflection of life a century ago, when everything moved slower and people had more time on their hands. Third, it takes quite a while for the movie to find its emotional footing, as in the first hour we simply get to know the various characters and how they fill their days. Fourth, WWI plays a major role in the movie, and in fact weighs heavily on the movie from start to finishg. Fifth, kudos to Michel Bouquet, a legend of French cinema (he was 85 when this movie was filmed), in the title role.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 May 2014
Format: DVD
As one of the previous reviewers mentioned, the film is full of tasteful nudity and beautiful people, yet it is not something you are interested in when you decide to watch a film on Renoir. Yes, the cinematography is wonderful, camera work dreamy and the light is lushy and mesmerising. But the whole film felt like a ripped up fragment of one fateful summer (of 1915). There is the First World War, there is old and sickly Renoir, there are those who live in his shadow, and there is this feeling of dread and undercurrents of lust. Prior to watching the film, I did not know anything about Renoir's personal life and the film was somewhat educational. But it was also far too long (for so little action), it had no beginning, no middle or end - there was no climax.

If you love Auguste-Pierre Renoir, an artist, or if you are interested in the films of his son Jean, there's a good chance you'll enjoy the film much more than a random viewer. Bottom line: the film is beautiful but boring. There are some amazing films about artists out there, but "Renoir" by Gilles Bourdos isn't one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Sep 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Beautifully photographed, the images manage to catch the essence of Renoir's use of color and light. In a way cinematographer Mark Ping Bing Lee is the real star of this film, creating an atmosphere that tells us more about the characters, and the Renoir's art than all the dialogue combined. (blu-ray is definitely recommended).

I also loved the performance by Michel Bouquet - in his 80s as the film was shot -as the slowly dying Renoir, battling to continue his painting until the last. With simplicity and economy. his eyes and gestures let us feel some understanding of the man and his art.

Additionally I appreciated the choice to just focus on a brief period near the end of Renoir's life, and his (platonic) relationship with his last muse, rather than the usual sprawling bio-pic approach.

On the other hand, I wasn't enamored by the script (or at least the English translation on the subtitles) which kept reducing much of what is said by Renoir and those around him to easy and generic statements about art, pain, joy, creativity. If the images capture the richness of the man's work, the dialogue is often the Hallmark card opposite.

Also, perhaps the most interesting part of the story, the return of Renoir's son Jean - who would go on to be one of the great film-makers of all time, from WW I, and his slow falling into romance with his father's muse Andree is jammed into the end of the film, and stays very much on the surface. You know something is amiss when the most emotion you feel in a film is at the cards just before the end credits summing up all the events you didn't see.

It's too bad, because if the human stories (and ironically both generations of Renoir did work that was nothing if not about humanity) had matched the beauty of the images this seems like it could have been a great film -- instead of a beautiful but somewhat hollow and emotionally remote one. Still worth seeing, just frustrating.
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