|Monsieur Ladmiral (Louis Ducreux) and his daughter Irène (Sabine Azéma)|
The film begins with Ladmiral awaking and getting ready to visit his son for Sunday in the country circa pre-WWI. Ladmiral is a painter and as the film moves on we discover that he and his family are not as happy as they might appear. Pop is feeling like he missed the boat with painters like Renoir. His son and him don’t exactly see eye to eye about how his son lives his life. And Irène, his daughter, blows into the film and then tries to blow right back out again, held only by the father and his subtle pleas for her to stay. He seems to be worried about her and yet admires her independence and individuality. By the end of the film, we understand the state of this family, but without any high drama or long drawn out cathartic sequences. Just Ozu-like inspection of an everyday get together to reveal what lies beneath.
All that said, this film didn’t quite do it for me. I have a strong feeling that this is one of those films that you need to watch several times over the years to draw out the full value. This time I was lost in the wonderful visuals, some of which I have included below. It’s worth a look.