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1 of 2 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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