111 minutes, France, 2012, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

The twilight years of one grand master and the dawning of a new generation’s creativity sustain Gilles Bourdos’ engrossing biographical portrait of impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his son Jean. It’s 1915, and the 70-something-year-old widower is battling arthritis to get his thoughts on canvas, captivated by his latest teenage muse. Another arrival at the Riviera mansion is Jean, recovering from wounds received as a French WWI combatant, unaware of the catalyst these moments will have on his cinematic future.

What’s lovely about the film is its refusal to force events into melodramatic contrivance, wise enough instead to let Michel Bouquet and Vincent Rottiers convincingly inhabit their roles as père et fils, and Christa Theret’s local lass to bewitch them and us. Moreover, for a film about the inspiration of sun-dappled light and rosy flesh, it absolutely looks the part. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

This film will be shown as our French Film Club screening, in partnership with the Alliance Française,  on Tuesday, July 9th at 20.20. Film blogger and teacher James Dempsey will introduce the film. IFI and Alliance Française members can avail of a discounted ticket price of €7 for this screening (please request at the IFI Box Office when visiting or call 01 679 3477). 

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