Seraphine


Posted November 27, 2009 in Cinema Reviews

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Martin Provost directs this simplistic biopic that draws a thin line between creative genius and madness. Taking misunderstood French painter Seraphine as his subject the film relies very heavily on the performance of Yolande Moreau in the title role. Thankfully it is one as exceptional as her character’s celebrated paintings. The staunchly Catholic Seraphine, marginalized by her local community, lives a life of humble servitude finding solace only in her bizarre canvasses, which she believes channel the spirit of the divine. The encouragement of German art-dealer William Uhde, who recognizes a rare artistic talent in his odd maid, brings fleeting success. Moreau manages to depict a woman of few words in a convincing manner that resonates throughout a number of unnecessary plot inclusions that distract from the main narrative, recovering itself only when the severity of Seraphine’s mental instability escalates and her story is brought to a devastatingly tragic conclusion.

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