Bertrand Travernier's magnificent portrait of French family life on the brink of World War I. Alive with the subtle brush strokes of an artist at the top of his form, Travernier's acclaimed "A Sunday in the Country" is a l... more »ovingly photographed and exquisitely acted portrait of the Ladmiral family at the beginning of the twentieth century. Based on the novel by Pierre Bost, "A Sunday in the Country" becomes an Impressionist painting in itself, mirroring the Ladmiral patriarch's trade. The film is a moving picture of the hopes, disappointments, and small joys of family as a father's life reaches its autumn season.« less
One of the most beautiful motion pictures ever made.
Miles D. Moore | Alexandria, VA USA | 02/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every frame of this film is like watching an Impressionist canvas in motion. This gentle, poignant character study of an elderly painter in the early 1900s is packed with beauty, insight and three-dimensional characters. Louis Ducreux, a French stage star who made his movie debut here at age 73, is subtle, compelling and deeply moving, as are the rest of the actors. The exquisite sound track (based mostly on the chamber music of Gabriel Faure) enhances the sunny yet wistful tone of the film. It's defintely not a movie for thrill-seekers, but for those seeking a two-hour vacation in a slower, gentler and lovelier world, it's a gem."
Classic French Film
William H Dotson | USA | 06/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just want to corroborate what the earlier 2 reviews state and to add that on the dvd is an audio commentary track by the director, a fact I had not seen published anywhere and did not actually discover until I purchased the dvd. Lovely transfer, lovely film."
A Visual Feast
carol irvin | United States | 02/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lovely film. I warn you that some may find it too slow because it takes a very painterly look at the microcosm of this aging man's world. If you can lose yourself in the art of it though, the pace will be just right. One of the people I saw this film with in the theater found it very depressing because of the old age approaching death aspect. Although the elderly painter is certainly moving in that direction, this film is much more about how his art is integral to his life and how his family fits into this scheme when they visit him one Sunday in his country studio and home. If you are an artist or art lover, you will adore this film for the visual feast that it is."
A feast for the eyes
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 02/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Proof that sometimes the simplest approaches can achieve the greatest results. An old man (played by Louis Ducreux), a successful Impressionistic painter in turn-of-the-century France, is visited one Sunday by his son (Michel Aumont) and his daughter (Sabine Azema). Over the course of the movie we see Ducreux's supreme disappointment in his dull, overly careful, and plodding son, and his delight with his enthusiastic, live-wire daughter, who has rarely come to visit him. The film is beautifully photographed, as pleasantly eye-filling as any Impressionistic painting might hope to be. There is not a lot of plot or action, but the simple unfolding of peaceful events over the course of what appears to be a typical Sunday afternoon in the spring countryside reveals not only a serene setting, but an excellent work of visual filmmaking. A rich movie-watching experience."
Since the first opening shot, you will be conveyed into a magical world at the beginning of the XX century, where the impressive talent of one of the most remarkable French directors ever born - Bertrand Tavernier - renders his personal homage, not only to Jean Renoir's "A day in the country" ; but the Impressionist art of painting with Manet as the principal starring.
The fabulous images, arresting landscapes, lavish photograph hover the whole picture; around the lives and times of an elderly widowed French artist who never the made the grade in order to achieve a major receptivity into his artistic circle. He is visited by his short family a Sunday and so we will witness with astonishing accuracy and fluid camerawork, the intimacies of this family. There are smart flashbacks around Irene his vanished wife and the peaceful way of living of the last days of the XIX Century.
The script flows with organic majesty and marvelous dignity. Tavernier achieved a genuine jewel of infinite carats.
By no reason you should miss this treasured film of the Eighties. One of my favorite films to watch over and over again. "