Film review: Renoir (12A)


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The ravishing languor of this portrait of the artist in old age must be set against its achingly slow pace, and an acceptance that its merits are entirely pictorial.

Michel Bouquet plays Pierre-Auguste, crippled with arthritis but at work, tended by a bevy of women servants who call him "The Boss".

To his paradisial retreat in Cagnes-sur-Mer comes a young model, Andrée (Christa Theret), whose creamy skin and independent character bewitch both the painter and his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers), wounded and on leave from the Western Front.

The main event is the lighting, beautifully finessed by cinematographer Ping Bin Lee, and the rapturous detail: a hung hare dripping with blood, a paintbrush dunked in a pot and smoking bright orange through the water. It's stately and gorgeous – and a bit of a bore.