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Renoir [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set in the Cote d'Azur in 1915 -- Pierre-Auguste Renoir's twilight years -- he is tormented by the loss of his wife, and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But, when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy. Blazing with life, radiantly beautiful, Andree will become his last model and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation, inspiring some of Renoir's most renowned works including Les Baigneuses (The Bathers). Back at his family home, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star in Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden and in the face of his father's fierce opposition -- Jean falls in love with this wild, untamable spirit... and as he does so, Renoir's weak-willed, battle-shaken son grows into a filmmaker, eventually becoming one of the greatest of all time.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EV1YZQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,337 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Appropriately enough, about the world's most famous Impressionist painter.

While definitely not for those who favor conventionally plotted drama or fast action, RENOIR consists of immediate realism and puts you right there with the Renoir clan on the French Riviera. It's the sort of film that could easily have been made overly artsy and dull, but it's neither.

The entire film takes place in 1915, toward the end of Renoir's life. The relationship between model Andrée Heuschling and son Jean Renoir is, in many ways, more the subject of the story than the painter himself, yet Renoir himself is indispensable as "the boss," a sort of god-like backdrop to the entire cast and story. Having said that, I must add that there is a fair amount on Renoir's artistic processes, and his philosophizing can be applied to all sorts of art forms besides painting. One of RENOIR's strongest aspects is its portrayal of a man who is obsessed with his work and has one thing that utterly consumes him.

Like many other French films, RENOIR succeeds in breaking all sorts of rules, among them:

--The plot is meandering and somewhat slice-of-life but still gripping;

--Andrée, the "girl from nowhere," and free but neglected youngest son Coco are characters that beg to be developed further, but at the same time, perhaps it's better that they remain mysterious;

--Lots of female nudity without it seeming the least bit gratuitous: After all, the subject is an artist who often painted naked girls;

--The mood is a successful mesh of somberness, poignancy, and (often laugh-out-loud) humor.

Just about every artsy cliché could be applied to this film, but suffice it to say that it is a beautiful experience.
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Format: Blu-ray
I loved every moment of this beautiful experience. The film looks painted at times. The sound is wonderful. We hear insects and birds and the sound of the wind. Curtains calmly flutter, trees vibrate and bend and we hear it. The high definition image is something to treasure. Well, I want to view it on a frozen January day. All of the acting is perfect. Agonies of aging are experienced... to horrific limits. The stupidity of war is revealed from a distance. Music is wonderful. My opinion is that there is nothing in the film that should be kept from children. It's a valuable education on the physical beauty of human beings, and on the many layers of intelligence and decency of women. Old Renoir says that every woman... every one... deserves respect. He does not think of himself as an artist, but as a worker. The women who lovingly carry his chair to beautiful locations for him to work... have all had a part in cherishing him and his ability to nurture them and their children. There are mysterious characters like Jean's young brother. I won't interfere with the flow of this movie by talking about the truth of it all. After you have seen it. Look up the characters. See the films of Jean Renoir. Again, on the rating of the film. Yes, a parent will have to talk about what war is. But, just like the children in the movie... our precious children should learn these things so that they can help us stifle war. Five stars is the limit here... but this movie deserves a few extras.

A few days later: I have just viewed Jean Renoir's "French Can Can." It is available on dvd, blu-ray from France and also online from Hulu. It is truly amazing... and it is a beautiful reflection of what we learned from the 2013 "Renoir" film.
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Format: DVD
"Renoir" (2012 release from France; 110 min.) is NOT an overview or bio-pic on the Impressionist painter's life. Instead, it retells one particular summer, set in 1915 in southern France. As the movie opens, we see a young woman named Andrée (played by Christa Theret) approaching the house of the Renoir family. Possessing a stunning beauty, she was recommended to be Renoir's newest model. Renoir at that point is already in his mid-70s, and endures various physical ailments. In the house there appear to be a group of women who at one point may have been models but ended up staying as maids. We learn that Renoir has three sons, of which the oldest two are now fighting in World War I. Then about one-third into the movie, one of them, the middle brother Jean, returns home from the war, having been heavily wounded. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first and foremost, this movie is one of the most gorgeous looking movies I have seen in a long time. A number of the scenes recreate Renoir painting and to me it feels like every scene in the movie is like a painting come to life. Second, this movie moves as snail's pace, and I mean this as a compliment. It is, I suppose, in part a reflection of life a century ago, when everything moved slower and people had more time on their hands. Third, it takes quite a while for the movie to find its emotional footing, as in the first hour we simply get to know the various characters and how they fill their days. Fourth, WWI plays a major role in the movie, and in fact weighs heavily on the movie from start to finishg. Fifth, kudos to Michel Bouquet, a legend of French cinema (he was 85 when this movie was filmed), in the title role.
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