Possessions and memories are the foundations of director Olivier Assayas's tender study of the aftermath of a family death. Three siblings, who all lead divergent lives, are brought together by the 75th birthday of their mother, Helene (Edith Scob), at her house in the country. Jeremie (Jeremie Renier), a dynamic businessman working in China, has flown in with his wife, while rebellious Adrienne (Juliet Binoche) has travelled from New York with her boyfriend James (Kyle Eastwood). Frederic (Charles Berling), an economist and university professor in Paris, and the only one to visit regularly, brings his wife Lisa (Dominique Reymond). With all her children present, Helene, whose health is failing, asks them to decide on a plan for the valuable art collection she inherited from her brother. As they try to decide the fate of the paintings, the richness of their childhood memories and their family life together cause them to take stock of their lives.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: French director Olivier Assayas (BOARDING GATE, IRMA VEP) subverts expectations with this empathetic drama about the fading relevance of objects as generations pass from one to the next. Helene (Edith Scob) has just turned 75 and is increasingly concerned about the particulars of leaving her estate behind when she dies. Unfortunately, the time comes when Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), Jeremie (Jeremie Renier), and Frederic (Charles Berling) must decide what to do with Helene's house and the artwork left behind by her famous uncle. Adrienne, who is living in New York City, and Jeremie, who is working in Asia, both understand that their future no longer resides in France, leaving the burden to Frederic. However, even when the siblings are at odds, they don't succumb to fighting. They seem to understand and accept that this is an unfortunate, muddled situation, and as much as they'd love to hold on to the house, it appears that their current situations carry more of an influence than the lives of their nostalgic past. ...Summer Hours ( L' Heure d'été )