R (scenes of art-related nudity, brief strong language); 111 min.
">Renoir is a lush, involving film that deals with not one Renoir but two, as well as the strong-minded woman who was a key player in both their lives.
The year is 1915, the setting the gorgeous landscape of the French Riviera, and Renoir the father, the recently widowed 74-year-old impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste (veteran actor Michel Bouquet), is hungry for inspiration.
His son, future filmmaker Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers), is only 21, a wounded World War I veteran come home to the family compound at Cagnes-sur-Mer to convalesce. Perhaps overwhelmed by his father, he is a bit of a dilettante, someone who by his own admission dabbles in things, and he is looking for inspiration of a different sort.
Both men find what they are searching for in gorgeous Andree Heuschling (a convincing Christa Theret), but only up to a point. Its not that the men become rivals the film is too sophisticated for that but that the complexities of human relationships wont allow for anything more.
As directed by Gilles Bourdos (who co-wrote with Jerome Tonnerre) and gorgeously photographed by Mark Ping Bing Lee (whose credits include Wong Kar-wais In the Mood for Love), Renoir is classic French moviemaking with some modern twists.
In French and Italian with English subtitles
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Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times