My husband chose Seraphine, a film by Martin Provost, when we were out last Friday. I watched it absolutely mesmerized. Although the subtitles appeared below our screen, too far down to easily read, I was able to comprehend enough of the film to follow it completely. That’s not because my French is so fluent any more, but because the pace of this film is slow and calm. It is lovely beyond words.
Seraphine is the true story of Seraphine Louis (Yolande Moreau-Paris Je T’aime, Amelie), a simple and profoundly devout housekeeper who in 1905 at age 41, began painting brilliantly colorful canvases. In 1912, a German art critic (Ulrich Tukur-The Lives of Others) discovered her paintings while she was working for him as his maid. The film tells the story of the relationship between the avant-garde dealer and the visionary cleaning lady forging a testament to the mysteries of creativity and the resilience of one woman’s spirit. (back cover)
It has won 7 Cesar awards including:
- Best Actress – Leading Role (Yolande Moreau)
- Best Cinematography (Laurent Brunet)
- Best Costume Design (Madeline Fontaine)
- Best Film
- Best Music Written for a Film (Michael Galasso)
- Best Production Design (Thierry François)
- Best Writing – Original (Marc Abdelnour and Martin Provost)
So, even if you aren’t celebrating Paris in July? You should see this film. Vraiment.
p.s. It’s available on DVD.