Christa Theret (below and on poster at top). Ms Theret is not only strikingly beautiful -- with a body that seems to cry, Paint me! -- but she possesses the ability to seem at once of Renoir's time (a century ago) and the very model of a modern major feminist. As a character, she's thoughtful, inquisi-tive, alternately pliant and demanding; as an actress, she's quite a find, so I hope we'll be seeing much more of her in the years ahead.
Vincent Rottiers, below, one of the best young actors currently working in France: I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive and In the Beginning) and Claude, nicknamed Coco, played well by Thomas Doret (barely recognizable here as The Kid With the Bike). We see nothing of the the eldest son, Pierre, who went on to become rather a famous actor, but the two we view are enough to make this family come to very interesting life.
Michel Bouquet (How I Killed My Father, Toto Le Hero) makes a fine and precise painter, as well as a sad old man, losing by increments to crippling arthritis everything that has made his life worthwhile. What M. Bourdos shows us of a great artist in the sunset of his life -- how he thinks, feels, paints and aches -- is so well realized that I think this will be the standard for some time to come.
Lee Ping Bin (of In the Mood for Love and Norwegian Wood), who shows us how the light plays off everything (see poster, top) and the colors this creates, the manner in which all this beauty feeds the characters and their need to produce, and how it seeps into everything from the house to the grounds to the skin of our (and Renoir's) favorite model.
Samuel Goldwyn Films and running 111 minutes, the movie opens this Friday, March 29, in New York City (at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema) and in California (in Los Angeles, Encino, Pasadena, Irvine and Santa Barbara). Click here to see all the theaters showing the film this week and also for the many upcoming playdates around the country.