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Summer Hours (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Version française) [Import]

5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier, Edith Scob, Dominique Reymond
  • Directors: Olivier Assayas
  • Writers: Olivier Assayas
  • Producers: Charles Gillibert, Claire Dornoy, Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz
  • Format: Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: April 20 2010
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0035ECHPE
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Product Description

Summer Hours (Cc)(Br)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nate on March 25 2010
Format: DVD
A family returns home to celebrate the birthday of their aging mother. Their ancestral home is like a living museum, containing the works of her uncle, a celebrated painter, and of so many other important artists. Before long, she will be gone, and she knows that the treasures she had accumulated and preserved will no longer remain intact. It is a subtle story of a family, like all families, with things that are left unsaid but need to be spoken, with expectations that cannot possibly be fulfilled. It is told here by Oliver Assayas with a remarkably light touch, with a beautiful palette, a fluid camera and seamless edits. The acting is pitch-perfect throughout - it doesn't feel like acting.

I couldn't help but think of this as a lighter counterpoint to the more melancholy, but more playful and inventive, A Christmas Tale by Arnaud Desplechin, whose sensibilities strike me as similar to those of Assayas - both films deal with similar issues of inheritance, of loss, of communication failures, and yet, while this film is less deliberately avant-garde than that one, it feels every bit as profound and yet more delicate, more subtle. In addition to displaying the changes in France over generations, the film reflects on larger questions. At what point do personal relics, a desk, a vase, a display case used as a kind of closet, become cultural artefacts? To whom can art belong? What is the connection between usage and display value of an artwork? What makes it art, after all?

I caught this during its theatrical release, but am very happy to hear it is being released by Criterion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 25 2011
Format: DVD
Yes, this is an "art" fillum and it is French so it's not for everyone, but bear with me on both scores. The art in this movie is actual art that three siblings inherit along with their family home after their mother dies. The French part shouldn't dissuade those of you who hate subtitled flicks or artsy fartsy European fare--it's really a poignant, loving portrayal of a family yet once based in the reality of what one has to deal with when a loved one dies and you're left with their memories (in this case their valued objects and home).

If this story was done by Hollywood you'd have shrill voices screaming and fighting over the valuable art. As it was done by the French, it's done in a way that seems natural among two brothers and a sister over how to dispose of a family estate in a way that brings honor and dignity to the family name.

There are some great scenes that show up museums and the "coldness" of the way they do business and subsequently display other people's memories where all context and love of art is pretty much lost once removed from its original owner's homes.

The dialogue is first-rate and so natural. The story is also so modern and speaks of the globalization of our modern world and how a culture can be chipped away just by family members moving away. I won't ruin that aspect of the movie for anyone but you'll see how profound the effect is and yet in the end the grandchildren show all is not lost for France when its citizens move abroad.

The movie also looks fantastic. You actually feel as if you are in a wonderful jumbled French country home that actually feels like a home and the art pieces are alive (i.e., one famous vase gets used constantly for flowers rather than just being a display behind a glass case).

(Kudos also for the choice of the Plasticines' song near the end of the movie to showcase France's punk pop of today.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 20 2011
Format: DVD
Interesting, gentle sad (but not depressing) story of the inevitability of loss and chance.

Three siblings decide whether to keep or sell their mother's country home and art collection
after her death, exploring how we give 'things' meaning, and how that meaning changes due
to context, generation, and what we need from them.

But while the ideas are intriguing, and the acting good it never quite reached the deepest
level of feeling or thoughtfulness for me.

Called a masterpiece by a number of critics, and something close by others, I cant quite go
there, but it is an intelligent, quietly moving experience, that I'll probably revisit yet again,
since it grew on me on a second viewing.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
***Spoilers within***

This is a story about how three adult siblings deal with their mother's death. It leaves their lives forever changed. They were raised in France and their childhood home is left to them. They have to decide whether to keep it or sell it and also decide what to do with some of the valuable possessions left behind.

It's a snapshot into the three lives. The film is dialogue-heavy because it tries to show what's going through the minds of the three siblings.

It's also a commentary on the modern world. How everyone has a telephone and is always in touch with other things that are happening. Two of the siblings have made a life elsewhere; one in New York and the other in China.

How important is tradition, culture and their past to these people?

The film is shot beautifully and looks and sounds incredible. Whenever we are at the house, the air is filled with the sounds of birds.

Most people eventually face what the three face in this story. I remember having to deal with such things about 17 years ago. It's well told and interesting.

Like many Criterion titles, this isn't for everyone. If you like to think about life and people, it may interest you. If you need a more obvious story with a stunning conclusion, look elsewhere.

I fall into the first category.
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