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Summer Hours - L`heure d`ete (2008) [Import , All Regions]

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Import from South Korea , All Regions NTSC, French Sound with Optional English or Korean subtitles, very easy to change or turn Off****SYNOPSIS:Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish the family belongings to ensure their deceased mother's succession

Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling
  • Directors: Olivier Assayas
  • Format: Import, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Subtitles: English, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Daekyung, South Korea
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FJHH7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,512 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Seventy-five year old Helene is a widow living in a gorgeous cottage in the French countryside. We meet her during a visit from her three grown children, and it's obvious that she does not get to see them very often. We find out that she is the niece of a famous French artist, and she has devoted her life to preserving his place in the art world. In fact, she is so dedicated to him that she hasn't changed the house he left to her, and she has kept as many of his works of art (as well as a collection of other's works) as she could. She talks to her oldest son about what will happen when she is gone; he tries to assure her that the children want to keep the house and preserve the art collection. However, she has her doubts.

"Summer Hours" is a uniquely French movie that was commissioned by the Musee d'Orlay (which figures prominently in the plot). Directed by Olivier Assayas ("Irma Vep"), this sensitive almost delicate movie works on so many levels. On the surface, the film explores the struggle that often ensues between siblings and family members after the death of a loved one. What do you do with all their stuff? In this case, some of the "stuff" is very valuable, which complicated the scenario. Anyone who has experienced the death of an elderly relative and seen the friction that can result when dividing up their "stuff" will surely relate. On another level, we can see Helene's struggle to let go of what she has spent an entire lifetime valuing. She understands that she cannot burden her children with the unenviable task of carrying on her uncle's legacy. This part of the film is gut-wrenching and so beautifully nuanced.
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Note: French with English subtitles.

The 2008 French release 'Summer Hours' is a reflective, sensitive film that examines the interpersonal dynamics between people and possessions following the death of the family matriarch. Three siblings and there families must decide what is to be done with the many art treasures left behind by there well-to-do Mother. Most importantly what is to become of her beautiful home with it's luxurious gardens still echoing with the laughter of many shared memories of family gatherings through the years. Should the estate remain in their hands to be used as the site where future family memories can be made, or has the time come to let go of the past to look elsewhere for the comfort of hearth and home.
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This beautiful film is about family relationships and the manner in which they change over time as family members form new attachments and loyalties. It is about two brothers and a sister who visit their elderly mother, Helene, in the final years of her life and how they resolve the distribution of her estate after she dies. The issue is complicated in that Helene was the favored niece, and possible lover, of a relatively famous artist and thus objects found in the estate my have art historical significance, or sentimental significance, or both. Helene's oldest son is sentimental and wishes to keep the estate intact and as a refuge for family members. His younger sister and brother have developed lives elsewhere and the value of the estate will allow them to live more secure comfortable lives. Thus a family dynamic around memories, wealth, sentimentality unfolds in a careful, sensitive, moving manner that reminds us all that life moves on and we must move with it. I found the film to be very authentic in that the issues explored were real, possibly reflected in many homes and families as they struggle to reconcile differences in values while honoring each other's choices and commitments. The film is driven by character development in a realistic setting rather than by a suspenseful or witty plot. Watching it is as if you already know the plot and you already know the characters for you have experienced them in your own life. This gives the film a warmth and intimacy that is rare.
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