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Summer Hours (2008)
"L'heure d'été" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Family  |  5 June 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,033 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 48 user | 135 critic | 27 from

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.



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7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dominique Reymond ...
Valérie Bonneton ...
Isabelle Sadoyan ...
Alice de Lencquesaing ...
Emile Berling ...
Jean-Baptiste Malartre ...
Michel Waldemar
Gilles Arbona ...
Maître Lambert
Le commissaire de police
Marc Voinchet ...
Présentateur radio
Sara Martins ...
Atachée de presse


In a small town, Hélène is a family matriarch who has devoted her life to preserving the legacy of her artist uncle. However, while her eldest son, Frédéric, wants to preserve her home after her passing, she harbors no such illusions as she prepares her legacy. After her death, her children realize what she anticipated as they come to terms with their inheritance's place in their own lives. In the resulting disposition of their mother's assets, treasured heirlooms of a romantic family past drift away even as their changing modern world confronts the value of their memories. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

5 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Summer Hours  »

Box Office


€4,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£58,229 (UK) (18 July 2008)


$1,641,025 (USA) (21 August 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charles Berling previously starred in Olivier Assayas's film, Demonlover (2002). See more »


The shape of Adrienne's apple and the discoloration marks from oxidization change repeatedly during the conversation with her brothers. See more »


Éloïse: He said to choose anything. l couldn't take advantage. l took something ordinary. What would l do with something valuable?
See more »


Remade as Summer Hours See more »


Loftus Jones
Written by Turlough O'Carolan
Performed by Robin Williamson, Mat Maneri and Barre Phillips
See more »

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User Reviews

Generations told through the eyes of objects!
1 May 2009 | by (Istanbul) – See all my reviews

Up until now, you may have seen films that are told through the eyes of a specific character, a child or even a dog. However this film achieves the impossible, it tells the story of generations through the eyes of the objects! The film opens with a large family gathering in a gorgeous old house located in French countryside. The house lies in the middle of a large garden and hosts beautiful antique furniture the owner, mother of three middle aged children, inherited from her uncle. A year later, she dies and the children have to decide about the fate of the house and the furniture.

Anyone who has lost a parent or an elder family member possibly has gone through these difficulties depicted so naturally in the film. However, the movie goes beyond the initial thoughts and feelings. Delicate questions asked by this movie are multifaceted and explore the effects of capitalist globalization on generations.

Those objects have memories in them. When they are left to a museum, they seemingly belong to the society as whole but to no one at the same time.

The elder brother, professor of economy, who lives in France wants to preserve the house, he wants to stick to his roots, to family memories but his brother and sister want to follow their careers in China and US. Yes, by doing so they live in the moment and yes, they are not confined to France and yes, the whole world is theirs but they are also left with nothing. Like objects displayed in the museum.

And this duality lives on until the ironic ending, which can be interpreted as optimistic or pessimistic by viewers even tough pessimistic tone is definitely more prevalent.

Beautiful acting by Binoche, Charles Berling, Edith Scob and wonderful directing and writing by Assayas. This movie is just lifelike, simple but complex!

34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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