In 1914, Wilhelm Uhde, a famous German art collector, rents an apartment in the town of Senlis, forty kilometers away from Paris, in order to write and to take a rest from the hectic life he has been living in the capital. The cleaning lady is a rather rough-and-ready forty-year-old woman who is the laughing stock of others. One day, Wilhelm who has been invited by his landlady, notices a small painting lying about in her living room. He is stunned to learn that the artist is no other than Séraphine. Written by
Seraphine Louis,who would eventually change her name to Seraphine deSenlis (after the name of her hometown)was an artist who cleaned houses by day,and painted by night (all the time while singing the hymns of her staunch Catholic upbringing,while she was growing up an orphan by Nuns). Seraphine is pretty much maligned by the village locals,taunted by children,and pretty much avoided by most all that know her. When German art collector & critic,Wilhelm Uhde rents a room in the town of Senlis,while on the run from the insanity of World War I,and discovers a painting by Seraphine & is amazed by it's use of colour & texture. When the war moves ever closer,Uhde & his sister escapes the madness. Years later,he returns to Senlis,rediscovers an aged,but still painting Seraphine & vows to put her work on display (despite the fallout of the Wall Street crash of 1929,as well as the subsequent great depression,that managed to cripple a good percentage of Europe's economy,as well). Martin Provost directs & co writes (with Marc Abdelnoir)a lovingly depicted portrait of a woman possessed of genius that is cruelly stolen too early (deSenlis spent her aged years in an insane asylum & never painted again in life). Yolande Moreau plays Seraphine,a woman unpossesed by pretentious,real fine. Ulrich Tukur plays Wilhelm Uhde,in a winning role that depicts Uhde as an impresario of art first,and who's personal life is down played,somewhat (in life,Uhde was an ardent homosexual that made no bones about his gay lifestyle). The photography is a real treat for the eye (at times,the composition of visual images are very painterly,such as films such as 'Tous Le Matin Du Monde'). A film to check out for those with a love of art,or art history (or both). Spoken in French & German with English subtitles. Not rated by the MPAA,this film contains flashes of nudity & adult content.
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