“Renoir is a lush, involving film that deals not with one Renoir but two, as well as the strong-minded woman who was a key player in their lives. The year is 1915, the setting the gorgeous landscape of the French Riviera, and Renoir the father, the recently widowed 74-year-old Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste, is hungry for inspiration. His son, future filmmaker Jean Renoir, is only 21, a wounded WWI veteran home to convalesce. Perhaps overwhelmed by his father, he is a bit of a dilettante and he is looking for inspiration of a different sort.
“Both men find what they are searching for in gorgeous Andrée Heuschling, but only up to a point. It's not that the men become rivals — the film is too sophisticated for that — but that the complexities of human relationships won't allow for anything more.
“Impeccably played the film's aging Renoir could be something of a domestic tyrant. He was also a man in great physical pain, so devastated by arthritis that the brushes had to be tied to his hands. Into this world comes the anarchic, free-spirited Andrée. With her glowing skin and long reddish-orange hair, Andrée is just what the artist has been looking for in a model, and he is amused, more than disconcerted, by her effrontery and independence.
“Then Jean comes home to recover. Like his father, he is intoxicated by this woman, but their relationship is by definition going to be complicated. Though their tastes differ, one of the things that unites them is a shared interest in movies, and the real Renoir later said he "took my first steps in cinema" with Andrée in mind.
“As directed by Gilles Bourdos and gorgeously photographed, Renoir is classic French moviemaking with some modern twists. This is one of those films that takes great pleasure in beautifully re-creating the past, in bringing to life the world of the elder Renoir, who lived for the pleasure the painting of beautiful women gave him.”
- Kenneth Turan, LA Times


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