Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), man of the people, autodidact and revolutionary sculptor - the most brilliant of his era. At 42, Rodin meets Camille Claudel, a young woman desperate to become his assistant. He quickly acknowledges her as his most able pupil, and treats her as an equal in matters of creation.Written by
"Rodin" presents moments in the sculptor's life as he struggles to complete his statue of Balzac, which was panned at the time but is now considered by some to represent the dawn of modern sculpture. Rodin's role in changing the art of sculpture is reflected by the impressionists with whom he socialises, including Cezanne and Monet, who were likewise challenging the conventions of painting. In the background, literally and figuratively, is the famous "Gates of Hell" sculptural group that the master is slowly assembling. In the foreground is his tempestuous relationship with student Camille Claudel, one of the many students/models he beds over the course of the film. Like his "Balzac" the film was panned on release (but likely not to be considered a game-changing masterpiece in the future) and although I seemed to have liked it more than most critics, it is undeniably slow-moving and disjointed. Unlike films such as "Lust for "Life" (1956), it does not follow the artist from beginning to end, so anyone without some knowledge of the sculptor will find themselves dropped into the story midpoint with insufficient 'exposition' to immerse themselves in the characters or situations. While a known womaniser, the emphasis on Rodin's flings with his frequently nude (and sometimes not very convincing) models gets in the way of what is interesting: the sculpting. On the plus side, the film is beautifully photographed and I thought that Vincent Lindon (Rodin) and Izïa Higelin (Camille) were very good (an opinion not shared by all).
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