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Movie review: "Renoir"

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Movie review: "Renoir"

Post  Susan Abernethy on Tue May 07, 2013 1:23 am

The year is 1915. The opening shot of this movie is from behind a beautifully dressed red-haired young woman riding a bike down a road on the French Riviera. Thus begins a series of beautiful tableaux that lasts for the duration of the movie. The young woman is named Andrée Heuschling and painter Pierre Auguste Renoir’s wife, who has passed away, mentioned to Andrée she might want to be a model for her husband. Andrée takes the position and becomes the painter’s muse.

Renoir is seventy-four and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. His hands are deformed and he is wheelchair bound. He has several women who work in the home, cooking, cleaning, setting him up to paint and carrying him in his wheelchair. These women are all former models for the painter. Renoir lives to paint.

Renoir has three sons. Claude, the youngest, lives with him and is unruly and unkempt. The two older boys, Pierre and Jean are fighting at the front in the “Great War” (WWI). When both men are injured they return to their father’s home to recuperate. We see the beginning of Jean’s interest in motion pictures. Jean falls in love with Andrée. He goes on to become a film director, actor, producer and author and Andrée becomes his muse.

The producers of the film hired a known art forger to imitate Renoir as he is painting. The scenery in the film is gorgeous. In many ways this movie reminds me of my most favorite film of all time, Terence Malick’s “Days of Heaven”. The cinematography is really beautiful. The acting, music and dialogue are minimal but the emotions are palpable. This movie is a sumptuous two hour experience.

Last edited by Susan Abernethy on Tue May 07, 2013 1:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add a space between paragraphs)
Susan Abernethy

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