Renoir. 2012. France. Directed by Gilles Bourdos. With Vincent Rottiers, Christa Théret, Michel Bouquet. 35mm. In French; English subtitles. 111 min.
Auguste Renoir and his son Jean are known to the world as the famous French painter and filmmaker, respectively. Little, though, is known about the woman who played a role in both of their careers. Amid the throes of the First World War, Auguste, already a successful Impressionist painter, hires the young, free-spirited Andrée Heuschling, later known as Catherine Hessling, to pose for him. When the 21-year-old Jean returns to their countryside home from the battlefront, injured and uncertain of his vocation, he is enchanted by the self-assured Andrée, who will one day become instrumental in jumpstarting his filmmaking career. Lee's cinematography is like paint on a canvas, capturing the lushness of the countryside and the radiating beauty of Andrée, and bringing to life the scenery and figures immortalized in Auguste's canvases.