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 (email@example.com)
A film about talented rich people squabbling, albeit very gently, about an inheritance would normally be a candidate to make my hackles rise. But 'Summer Hours' is a sensitive, subtle movie, that explores non-judgmentally what is important to us, and why: in short, how we define our emotional identities. The characters seem likable, but display an ordinary selfishness, and the film lightly samples the passions that make each of them tick. It's a very wordy movie, so much so, it could almost have been a stage play, but the director has a great sense of place, evoking his characters own feelings for place and the movie never feels heavy. In one sense, the ending is a touch underwhelming; but in keeping with the film's overall style. I liked it, a lot: the sort of film that only the French seem to make.
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