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The true story of the twilight years of the great painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A lushly shot stroll through the twilight days of the impressionist painter Auguste and the early formative years of his filmmaking offspring, Jean, Renoir is set on the French Riviera in 1915, where the verdant and paradisiacal Renoir estate offers shelter from the horrors of WWI. Auguste (Michel Bouquet), already in his 70s, has just become a widower and is worried sick about his two sons at the front. Despite the deformation of his hands by rheumatoid arthritis, he still paints daily. The catalyst of the story is the arrival of Andrée (Crista Theret), a sprightly girl with flaming red hair and porcelain skin who becomes Renoir’s new muse and who also catches the eye of Auguste’s second son, Jean (Vincent Rottiers), who has been sent home to convalesce after a serious injury. It is Andrée who stimulates Jean’s interest in cinema (she would later marry him and star in his first silents as Catherine Hessling). Seemingly without any narrative agenda aside from simply observing the characters, the film meanders through the daily lives of the reunited father and son and the stunning female newcomer who personifies their deep familial bonds and shared appreciation of beauty. There is no major drama here save the encroaching end of one great artist and the birth of another, but Bourdos and his fellow screenwriters have translated something so monumental into a succession of such small domestic tableaux in which the Renoirs are seen as people first and artists second. Though the apparently calculating Andrée remains something of an outline, this seems appropriate given that both Renoirs objectify her more than they actually engage with her. And Theret’s luminous performance, opposite those of vet Bouquet and the equally strong Rottiers, makes clear why the men take an immediate shine to her. – Boyd Van Hoeij, VarietyOfficial Trailer

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Directed by: 
Gilles Bourdos
Running Time: 
French with English Subtitles
MIchel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret
Screenplay by: 
Gilles Bourdos, Michel Spinosa, Jérôme Tonnerre<br> Based on the biography by Jacques Renoir

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