It's a chauvinistic idea – the elderly male artist finds a beautiful young female model and his sap and creativity return. As dealt with by director Fernando Trueba and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, however, an old story seems poignant and profound.
It helps that the sculptor Marc Cros (the still raffish Jean Rochefort) isn't lecherous. The model Mercé (Aida Folch), a Spanish refugee adrift in France in 1943, is the catalyst who enables his return to work.
Shot in black and white, the film pays as much loving attention to the natural world as it does to the body of the model.
The tempo is slow but beguiling. This is wartime during the Nazi occupation, but art is shown as the way toward renewal.