Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish the family belongings to ensure their deceased mother's succession.
Log in to post a review.
Summer Hours (PG) * * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Sooner or later we all grow old. Down the road you have to make plans. An aging woman must make a host of decisions in Summer Hours, a dynamic French tale from E1 films that truly bridges culture and age spans. Set to open the French film festival at the Ridge Theatre this opening treat heralds in a sense of renewal amid deep divides.
Just why Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) gets top billing here defies description. Star power goes with this woman but here sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only one member of a very structured family. Two brothers gather with Adrienne and their kids to honour their seventy-five year old mom Helene. Born rich or married rich Helene lives in a palatial estate in the French countryside. Dream lavish gardens, sweeping vistas, a moat and an old run down house and you get the picture.
Inside this mansion are relics of HeleneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life and those of her children. Time takes no prisoners and Helene is trying to come to terms with what to do once sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gone. Children Frederic, Jeremie and Adrienne donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want her to go but all sense sooner or later the leading lady will no longer be around. Perish the thought.
Director Olivier Assatas has also written here a very telling portrait of how to deal with aging and the aftermath in a death. Low key but elegant and boisterous performances really take you inside this family as you see the children try to settle out differences. As if that isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough room for controversy you also have some of the grandchildren come of age and create their own divides in this once proud household.
People everywhere will be able to relate to the plight of this group of siblings as they go through the motions of dealing with things and stuff accumulated over time. Memories die hard but the portrayals by Charles Bering and Jeremie Renier as brothers in arms and Edith Scob as the once proud mom will long live on once the curtain goes down.
In French with English Subtitles
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com