"Renoir" is a lush, involving film that deals not with one Renoir but two, as well as the strong-minded woman who was a key player in both their lives.
The year is 1915, the setting the gorgeous landscape of the French Riviera, and Renoir the father, the recently widowed 74-year-old Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste (the veteran Michel Bouquet), is hungry for inspiration.
His son, future filmmaker Jean Renoir, is only 21, a wounded World War I veteran come home to the family compound at Cagnes-sur-Mer to convalesce. Perhaps overwhelmed by his father, he is a bit of a dilettante, someone who by his own admission "dabbles in things," and he is looking for inspiration of a different sort.
Writer/Director Rahim Bahrani, responsible for the indie hit, Goodbye Solo (2008) puts some of his best cinematic qualities to use in his newest film At Any Price starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron. Bahrani's take on mid-western culture is at times fascinating. Layered with narrative vices and escalating tension, the true savior of the film is the powerhouse performance by Quaid.
Telling the story of the Whipple's, a farming family whose agriculture business is threatened by an impending investigation of their fields and the procedures they follow. In the midst of the ordeal, the relationship of a father and his rebellious son (Efron) is tested to their max. Bahrani's interpretation of modern-day Iowa and the communities that surround is an interesting examination of American values that he respectfully caresses.
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