31 May 2010

Summer Hours

A curiously meandering sort of film. It's about 3 siblings who have to decide what to do with their other's estate after her death - her house, but more importantly, her incredible art collection. The film sort of ambles along as they puzzle over what to do, and work out various issues they have with each other, but what's interesting about it is how understated everything is. Bizarre revelations - such as the fact that their mother was having an incestuous affair with her uncle - are mentioned but unexplored. There are various tensions between the siblings, but they're just... there. The movie has a plot line, but very little narrative momentum, yet it doesn't feel slow.

What I found particularly appealing about the style was the character development. The wife of one of the brothers, for instance, is a very minor character, but you have just enough information about her to think that you don't like her very much. Not that she's villainous or anything, just kind of off-putting - exactly what a sister-in-law who you don't especially care for is like.

While the movie does open up some interesting questions about art, ownership, and legacy, I can't say that I found it especially thought-provoking. It was a pleasant way to pass an hour on a sunny Sunday, but it didn't really stick with me. Still, I'm glad I saw it.

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