By Bob Gibbons
Like the paintings Pierre-Auguste Renoir created, this is a movie filled with visual splendor. The cinematography (by Ping Bin Lee from Taiwan) is absolutely gorgeous. People wear bright blues and oranges; dappled light plays on leaves and softly rounds human figures. Backgrounds are minimal; most scenes take place out of doors. Renoir’s model, Andree (Christa Theret) is most often posing nude – and she really is a beautiful young woman. But the movie is a stuck in neutral; the elder Renoir (Michel Bouquet) paints and pontificates; his middle son, Jean (Vincent Rottiers) limps and listens, Andree poses and pouts – and then they do it all again. For almost two hours. It’s as if film director just wants us to enjoy the people he’s placed in this tableau and – as if we’re looking at a Renoir still life – to imagine what is really going on.