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Movie review: 'Renoir'

Posted 12:58pm on Thursday, May. 02, 2013

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. It’s not that the men become rivals — the film is too sophisticated for that — but that the complexities of human relationships won’t 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-wai’s In the Mood for Love), Renoir is classic French moviemaking with some modern twists.

In French and Italian with English subtitles

Exclusive: Angelika Dallas, Angelika Plano

— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

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