“Renoir” 1 hr 53 minutes Director – Gilles Bourdos Set on the French Riveria in 1915
I tend to love French films. And what could be more French than “Renoir”? My first important piece of art that I purchased at the ripe old age of twenty was a Renoir lithograph. So it came as a shock to me that I didn’t fall over in love with this film. Even the beautiful French countryside, while trying to bring Renoir’s paintings alive, didn’t seem to pull it off.
Here we have an aging 74 year old painter who is amply and lovingly care for by a staff of women, who were at one time his muses, models and lovers. Renoir still mourns the passing of his wife as his last muse, Andree, enters his studio. She poses, promenades and pleasures the old man if not with sexual content but with the beauty of her ripe, young body wanting for the artist to step forth and claim her. If this director is correct, that resolution in their relationship never happens. The closest we are allowed to get is one delicate moment in which the old artist takes her lovely young hand in his garbled, arthritic old hand and kisses her telling her simply: “Too young, too old.” That is the moment of truth between the two.
Then, alas, steps in the young son, Jean Renoir, home to convalesce from the war. Inevitably, the two form a sexual relationship. Now, what French Director, in his right mind would have two young attractive lovers making love and never show any portion of it? Perhaps, he is from Pakistan…
I left the movie feeling somehow that it was more about the young muse, Andree, than the dying artist himself. I wanted to know more about her and what her future held (although they did reveal some of it at the end). I learned nothing new about Renoir himself. For that reason, I give it three stars.★★★