Art · Movies

Séraphine

This is a lovely movie about Séraphine de Senlis, an extremely talented but not very well known (not as well known as Picasso or Douanier Rousseau who were discovered by the same art dealer as her) French painter who died in 1942.

The movie is quiet enough to give you space to process what is happening in the artists’ life as she is discovered and encouraged in her painting. Séraphine is a deeply religious, somewhat mentally fragile cleaning woman who paints with a passion, and the movie’s treatment of her near-success in her lifetime followed by her descent into madness as the movie progresses is very non-judgmental, something very rare.

You’ll probably read it everywhere but Yolande Moreau’s performance is absolutely riveting, even though she portrays an often expressionless woman. The depth of the characters’ relationship to her religious fervor, to her painting and to nature from which she derives  solace, spiritual comfort and the raw materials for her swirling, intricate, obsessively detailed paintings is a real inspiration.

Any artist should see this to steel their resolve. Any person should see it to wonder at what determination and passion can do.

PS: this is nerdy, but they mis-edited the trailer.When the man asks “Who painted this?” and the woman replies “Our cleaner”, whoever edited the video superimposed the wrong French audio for “our cleaner”, and it says “ours” instead. Which basically means they took one random word at the end of the woman’s sentence and stuck it in the clip)

This is the IMDB page of the movie.

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