Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sebastian Armesto, Richard Armitage, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Anthony Calf, Charlie Condou
Director: Tim Dunn
Genres: Drama, Television
Looking back on his life in 1920, Claude Monet recalls the story of the Impressionists ? a movement that shook the foundation of the art world. With his fellow painters, Auguste Renoir and Frederic Bazille, they begin a fo... more »
Not riveting--but I enjoyed it.
Katie Nelson | Modesto, CA | 12/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I eagerly awaited the release of this DVD. I fell in love with Richard Armitage in North & South (who didn't) and I have always been a fan of the French Impressionists, especially Monet. I thought that the miniseries was very well made, bringing actual paintings into the script, and really put the whole period into context. The acting was excellent and the script was well written. That said, this is not a fast moving drama, and those expecting such will be disappointed. There were several funny lines, but overall, it was a slow but beautiful story. I was a little disappointed with the amount of time that was devoted to Cezanne, especially in contrast to how little time was devoted to Renoir. The mini-series is very ambitious--it spans a historical time period of over 40 years. Obviously in three hours there were things that had to be omitted, but it stayed true to the spirit of the Impressionist movement and was enjoyable to watch. If you are a fan of BBC period Drama, I would add this to your collection."
This is a wonderful background to the art we love
Phil G. | Cherry Hill, NJ | 12/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really did not know what to expect when I bought this dvd. It really explores the whole impressionist movement from the beginning. It covers the artists: Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Bazille and Cezanne. These artists were all interconnected with one another and suffered great rejection from the art establishment for years. I was really engrossed in the personal stories of each artist from youth to the end of their lives. The stories show how some of the paintings were created and at the end of the scenes, the genuine paintings were displayed. I am an artist myself and particularly enjoyed seeing this. With genius usually comes oddity and you will not be disappointed. Besides the art history lesson, the series also demonstrates that reaching for one's dreams, even in the face of adversity, pays off. Touching story from which I learned a great deal."
Kate | Sacramento, CA | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had initially bought this based solely on the fact that Richard Armitage is in it. I was not disappointed. It is an incredibly engaging piece dedicated to the life of Claude Monet and his circle of artist friends of the time. I did not know much about TI before this so it was a wonderful lesson in art. The most enjoyable parts were when the paintings we all know so well had been brought to life right in front of my eyes. The subject, the surroundings, the story behind the paintings were revealed. We know them so well today as the greats but here we get to see the struggles they went thru at the time and how they were treated by their contemporaries. It's one that I've happily added to my DVD library and would watch again."
Last living Impressionist tells all . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 01/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As BBC historical dramas go, this one is informative, well performed and beautifully photographed. Art historians, however, may question how well it represents the artists, their work, and their relationships. It falls rather neatly into the shape of a miniseries, and one is left to wonder what's been left out and what's been enhanced to conform to the requirements of the genre. For me, the absence of Pissarro was unexpected, and I would like to have learned more about Renoir, who seemed more of a playful side-kick to the rest of the group of painters who challenged the officially approved style of art that ruled the salons of Paris in the 1880s.
Shaping this material (we are told it is a "true story" based on interviews and documents) must have been a particular challenge for the writers Colin Swash and Sarah Woods. And it's finally hard to say what the central thread of the story is meant to be. Much is made of how vicious was the early objection to their work - and how dire their poverty - yet as the painters become accepted, we don't learn how the shift happened or what was the tipping point. By this time in the story, there's more emphasis on Monet's domestic affairs, and Cezanne assumes the role of the artist whose work is reviled as "ugly."
The frame around the narrative (Monet being interviewed in 1920) seems a cumbersome device; the scenes between himself and the journalist lack dramatic interest. It remains difficult to the end to see the continuity between the underfed and sparsely bearded younger man and the portly older artist obsessed with his water lilies and sporting a beard the size of a shovel. Though many years pass, the characters seem not to age or to be much affected by the remarkable developments in their lives, rising from obscurity and poverty to fame and fortune. Maybe all that is too much to ask from a miniseries, but its absence leaves it all very pretty to look at, as it should be, yet seeming a little contrived."