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Movie Review: Seraphine June 9, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Photography.
reviewblogpicMovie Review: Seraphine

Alternate Title: A Muse Can Confuse

Story: I like films about artists. I like to watch the painful process of creativity up there on the big screen. This film’s compelling portrayal of little known, but very successful early 20th century artist. Seraphine de Senlis has all the makings of a classic. She heard voices (who doesn’t?) and got the call to paint. She labored by day as a maid, laundress, cook and anything else that would earn her enough money to buy her precious art supplies. After toiling all day at manual labor she would paint through the night. This intense film was sensitively directed by Martin Provost and written by Mr. Provost and Marc Abdelnour.

Seraphine Louis (1864-1942) was discovered by German art collector and dealer Wilhelm Uhde while laboring as his maid in a French countryside rental house. Their commonality covered a love of art, nature, beauty, bouts of depression, euphoria and secrets. His secret had to do with his sexual preferences and her secrets had to do with her calling via her devout Catholicism and how she made her paints. You could say she developed her material with blood, sweat, wax and tears and you would not be far from reality. The film takes us through the period 1914 – 1937.

This film deservedly won seven Cesars (the French Oscars) for best film, actress, original screenplay, cinematography, sets and costumes.

Acting: Yolande Moreau as Séraphine was amazing. Ulrich Tukur as Wilhelm Uhde was perfect.

treeofparadiseTrivia: German art critic and collector Wilhelm Uhde was the first Picasso buyer and champion of naïve primitive painter Le Douanier Rousseau. . Belgian actress Yoland Moreau wrote and performed the one-woman-show “A Dirty Business of Sex and Crime” that toured all over France, Switzerland, Quebec etc. (1982). She also worked as educator and in a children’s theater in Brussels.

Predilection: A stated above, I like films about artists.

Critters: Lots of the critters ended up as food on the table. Gulp.

Food: Chicken, lamb, ham, etc.

Sex Spectrum: Sex is implied, not shown.

Visual Art: Oo la la.

Theater Audience: About 50 art lovers.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Cesar worthy.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine but I always support the big screen for a better experience. For some other artist’s biopics, try renting: Vincent and Theo, Basquiat, Camille Claudel, Pollock and Frida.

Length: A bit over two hours.




1. Films About Artists: Séraphine « dig-n-dash - June 10, 2009

[…] Click here to see Judy’s review:  #mce_temp_url# […]

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