Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas – 2008) A-

As much as they might love their childhood home in the French country side, Adrienne (Juliet Binoche), Frederic (Charles Berling) and Jeremie (Jeremie Renier) are grown up now. They have their own families and goals. One of them is based in China, the other is a journalist in New York. The third sibling is based in France, wants to stay there and preserve their family home. The movie opens with a summer lunch gathering with their mom (Edith Scob) at the house. They discuss inheritance questions while their kids play and goof off in the surrounding fields. Their long term maid/nanny prepares a nice leg of lamb. In a few months their mom passes away and we are along with the siblings as they try to make things work between the three of them. They are all caring and not out to back stab each other. They want to take care of themselves and families without tramping on each other. They also want to make sure their beloved maid is not left with nothing. It is clear the estate will have to be sold and as time passes on the things that where cherished and loved must be left on the past. I loved this movie, possibly because of or in spite of hitting a bit close to home for me. It is another of Assayas lovely and deftly made quiet portraits.


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