directed by Gilles Bourdos

starring Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers

Fidélité Films

In a film where Auguste Renoir (Bouquet) fights career-ending arthritis, his son Jean (Rottiers) fights the Huns, and sexy model Andrée (Heuschling) lolls around naked when not romancing Jean, not that much happens. Auguste had fame and funds and his sons were rich kids with few plans. He hires a new model after the death of his wife and gives her frustratingly vague instructions: “Do as you please, walk around a bit, lie down.” It’s her skin that fascinates him, and I’ll say it’s very nice skin and you see quite a bit of it.

Renoir has a staff of dedicated domestics; they feed him, bathe him, and carry him up and down stairs and through creeks with no complaint. I get the idea they were all ex-models and ex-lovers, but that’s a guess. As Jean Renoir (yes, THAT one) ponders a career, his best friend advises “the cinema is not for the French — we have too heavy a culture.” Luminous and gorgeous, there’s not an ill -shot scene or setting in this film, and it relies on ambient light to give everything a warm golden glow. Biographical and presumably accurate as these things go, its glacial pacing is only broken by the climatic plate smashing scene.

This movie is part of the 2013 Florida Film Festival. More information may be found at


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