A historical drama traces the lifelong friendship between two renowned 19th century French artists - painter Paul Cézanne (Guillaume Gallienne) and writer Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) - ...
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A historical drama traces the lifelong friendship between two renowned 19th century French artists - painter Paul Cézanne (Guillaume Gallienne) and writer Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) - from their first meeting as schoolmates to their creative rivalry as fame and success continue to elude Cézanne.Written by
Director Danièle Thompson originally wanted to write a theatre piece about the relationship between Cézanne and Zola, but fellow director Mike Nichols convinced her that a film would do the subject more justice. See more »
You wouldn't miss much if you watched this movie with the sound off. Some of the cinematography, especially of outdoor scenes in Provence, is just astoundingly beautiful. Some is very reminiscent of Le Château de ma mère and the scenes in la garrigue.
The acting is all fine. Guillaume Canet is a fine performer and does a good job, but he is not the seriously obese and not handsome man that the real Zola was.
The big problem here is the script. It starts with an imaginary meeting between Zola and Cézanne in 1888, two years after Zola permanently alienated the painter with his novel L'Oeuvre (The Great Work of Art). It then moves back and forth between the present and various scenes in the two men's past friendship. There is nothing wrong with that as a format, but the dialogue is way too stereotypical. If these men had been so pleasant, their friendship would not have come to an end. There is no real attempt to explore why Zola turned on the Impressionists, yet that is really the center of the story.
So, my recommendation would be to watch this with the sound off.
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