Monthly Archive for: ‘April, 2013’

The Artist and the Model — Film Review

The Artist and the Model

Directed by  Fernando Trueba



This film is very similar to the film, Renoir, that I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago.  I wonder if they borrowed the script?  An aging artist (Jean Rochefort), who isn’t named, is sitting out the war (World War II in this case) in a placid pastoral landscape.  He meets up with a gorgeous young girl (Aida Foche) who becomes his model.  The girl spends a lot of her time on screen naked, which really makes the film.  Some young girls bodies are so compelling that you can just look at them for hours and hours without losing interest.  They have a mesmerizing quality about them that just won’t let go.  Foche has that, and that is what keeps this film alive.  Because there is not a whole lot going on.  Watching somebody sketch and sculpt and walk through the country meadows can wear out after a fairly short time.  But Foche’s nude body does not.

There is a lot of silence in this film, which I liked.  It gives you a chance to think about the characters and what is going on.  Unfortunately, that is not a lot.  The script is not as well constructed nor is the story line as interesting as Renoir.  Nor is the conversation as stimulating and as thought provoking.  By every measure this film is inferior.  So if you only have enough money to attend one of these, make it Renoir.  I would have said it is a good film, interesting to watch, although mostly devoid of action and rather slow moving, but the ending made me mad at the director and the screen writer.  It made absolutely no sense.  It completely nullified everything that had been established about the character throughout the film.  I took it as a gesture of futility on the part of the filmmakers.  They didn’t know what else to do, so they trashed the whole movie, their lead character, and everything the film had set out to do.  Were they so dissatisfied with what they did that they decided to turn it into Romeo and Juliet?  It’s utter nonsense.

The film is in black and white.  In French with subtitles.  Seen at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Sundance Kabuki Cinema, April 28, 2013.

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