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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film of Great Beauty.
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...
Published 6 months ago by Bodil Marie Sørensen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lustrous atmospheric drama of summer of 1915. Beautiful, but not very engaging.
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)...
Published 7 months ago by Lola


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film of Great Beauty., 28 May 2014
This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a Renoir painting that has come to life, 30 Oct 2013
By 
Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (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. To be that age and getting such a challenging role! Bouquet delivers a tour-de-force in my opinion. The other headliners (Christa Theret as Andrée and Vincent Rottiers as Jean Renoir) are also fine but are overshadowed by Bouquet. Lastly, beware there is quite a bit of 'artistic nudity' in the movie (although I thought it was never gratuitous or offensive). Bottom line: this is a beautiful, slow-moving movie that gives a glimpse into August Renoir's later life. Be sure to stick around for the end credits as we are told what became of the various characters later in their lives. As a complete aside, the parallels between this movie and another recent French-language movie called "The Artist and the Model" (starring that other legendary French actor Jean Rochefort), are striking.

I saw "Renoir" at my local art-house theatre here in Cincinnati in May of this year, and am glad to see that it has finally been listed here on Amazon US and Amazon UK as a future DVD release. When I saw it, I was quite surprised how packed the theatre was (mostly seniors, I might add). Regardless, if you are a fan of Renoir's art or simply in the mood for a slow-moving foreign movie that is a visual feast from start to finish, you cannot go wrong with this and I would readily recommend "Renoir".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lustrous atmospheric drama of summer of 1915. Beautiful, but not very engaging., 11 May 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing, if sometimes frustrating, 2 Sep 2014
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 6 Mar 2014
This review is from: Renoir (DVD)
Lot of tasteful nudity, film was long winded and slow and did not pick up at all. It had no start, middle or end - quite interminable.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning...but.., 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (DVD)
Considering the write-ups this film had received from the critics I was expecting a bit more about Renoir and a little less scenery.It is a visual treat and you do get a feel for the period,but to be honest the story line goes no-where fast and you're left with the 'impression' that you haven't really delved any deeper into the mans character at all...
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFULLY GENTLE DREAMLIKE FILM - A PAINTING THAT MOVES, 16 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (DVD)
I love it...it's all those much overworked reviewer remarks so frequently used but in this case it's true...wonderful lighting, gentle,beautifully filmed,fabulous 'am I in heaven' locations and directed with great care and love...excellent cast...generous acting..lovely colour...one of my most favourite movies ever and one I'll watch over and over...a joy indeed. It's could easily bring a tear to your eye.
Today I saw it on the big screen and can recommend you do to then view the DvD at home.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Masterfully atmospheric and cinematographic...", 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Renoir [DVD] (DVD)
French screenwriter, producer and director Gilles Bourdos` seventh feature film which he co-wrote with French screenwriter Jérôme Tonnerre and French screenwriter and director Michel Spinosa, is inspired by real events in the life of a French painter, a French filmmaker and a French actress. It premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival in 2013, was shot on locations in France and is a French production which was produced by producers Olivier Delboch and Marc Missonnier. It tells the story about a renowned painter and widower named Pierre-Auguste Renoir who lives in a house in the French Riviera with his youngest of his three sons named Claude who also paints and their housemaids. Pierre-Auguste doesn`t walk anymore, he worries about his son named Jean whom is serving his country in the First World War, his hand which he paints with is not as good as it once was and he is hearing the voice of his former wife in his dreams, but then one day a woman named Andrée Heuschling walks into his house.

Distinctly and eloquently directed by French filmmaker Gilles Bourdos, this quietly paced and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a calmly engaging and refined portrayal of a French artist whose inspiration is revitalized when he acquaints a woman who tells him that she has been sent by his spouse to pose for him. While notable for its distinct, naturalistic and somewhat surreal milieu depictions, reverent and versatile cinematography by Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Ping Bing Lee, production design by French production designer Benoît Barouh, costume design by French costume designer Pascaline Chavanne and use of sound, colors and light, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven story about a son whom after returning home from war with a wounded foot intending to go back when his foot has fully recovered, befriends his fathers` new model who makes an everlasting and life-altering impression on him, depicts three dense studies of character and contains a great and timely score by French composer Alexandre Desplat.

This somewhat biographical, modestly humerous and romantic, observational and reflective cinematic artwork which is set during a summer in Côte d`Azur, France in the early 1910s, which has been chosen as France`s official submission to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014, which conscientiously reconstructs scenes from the life of three prominent 20th century artists and where a lady of gracious femininity who brings a son closer to his father, instigates the birth of a filmmaker and a soldier is coming to terms with what the experience of love has done to him, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, rhythmic continuity, poignant instrumental tones, incorporation of art in cinema, scenes of Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting Andrée Heuschling and the involving and commendable acting performances by French actors Michel Bouquet, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret and French actress Christa Théret. A masterfully atmospheric and cinematographic homage.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous but Soporific, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: Renoir (Amazon Instant Video)
Watching this was very much like having an afternoon nap under the sun and dozing off until night time or looking at a very beautiful painting for hours on end In other words very relaxing, beautiful and serene but ultimately very dull. The cinematography is very beautiful and as one reviewer said it is like a painting brought back to life but I found it too mundane for my taste.
What I did like above all is the way it captured the ordinariness of everyday interaction within an extraordinary setting , the mixture of film and art within its themes and subtext and how each member of the Renoir family found their inspirations but it is not a film I would watch again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 3 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Renoir (Amazon Instant Video)
A beautiful picture. Not much of a story, but hey it's about art! Abrupt ending and no war scenes to speak of.
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Renoir [DVD]
Renoir [DVD] by Gilles Bourdos (DVD - 2013)
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