Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Impressionists - Movie by the BBC

Since I am a fan of French Impressionist art it should come as a surprised that I purchased this DVD.  I fully admit without any shame that handsome British actor Richard Armitage playing the younger Claude Monet was also incentive for me to buy this DVD.  Mr. Armitage is great eye candy and if it was not for him I would not have heard of this movie.  I was looking for other productions that Richard Armitage has been in and that is when I came across this movie. 

Anyway, aside from Mr. Armitage being in this movie, it really is a wonderful production.  It focuses on how the Impressionist movement began.  The artists that are featured are Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas and Frederic Bazille.  This movie conveys clearly the amount of rejection these artists received before the world would finally offer up the appreciation for Impressionist paintings that they deserve.

I love how the movie incorporates many of the paintings of these artist in the storyline.  It is also not rushed but instead unfolds in a way that is lovely.  The cinematography is outstanding.  The acting is very good.  I love everything about this movie and will watch it again and again.

 Richard Armitage portrays the younger Claude Monet

        Julian Glover portrays the older and wiser Monet

 Monet with fellow Impressionist painters Frederic Bazille, Pierre-Auguste Renior, Edouard Manet, Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas .

Monet paints Woman in the green Dress.  Her name is Camille Doncieux and she became Monet's lover and eventually his first wife.

Camille becomes pregnant with their son Jean.  Monet then marries Camille.  Camille later gives birth to another son Michel.  In real life Claude did not marry Camille until Jean is nearly three years old.

Camille posed for a lot of Monet's work.  I see that as very romantic actually.  Imagine being married to an artist and you are his muse.  That would sit very well with me. 

Camille was already in frail health when she became pregnant with their second son.  That pregnancy did her in and in 1879 Camille passed away.  It is not really clear what she died from.  It is speculated that she either had pelvic cancer or possibly a botched abortion.

In 1876, department store magnate Ernest Hoscede' commissioned Monet to do some paintings for his Salon.  Ernest went bankrupt in 1977 and he moved into Monet and Camille's house.  Ernest's wife Alice would later become Monet's second wife.

Alice Hoscede' Monet was played by one of my favorite British actresses, Amanda Root.  I loved her as Anne Eliot in Persuasion and other BBC productions.   If Amanda Root is single I wonder if Richard Armitage ever thought of asking her out.  They would make such a lovely couple.  Richard would make the perfect husband for ME but since he doesn't even know that I exist I will approve Amanda....hee hee haa haa

I was kept interested throughout this movie and enjoyed the pace.  It is sad at times because of the demise of Camille Monet, Frederic Bazille and Edouard Manet.  Everyone's story touches your heart and you appreciate these artist and the Impressionist movement even more.



Connie said...

Thank you for this lovely review. I will have to keep my eyes open and find it. As usual your blog is a wonderful experience; you have adding a delightful elegance and charm to each and every post that you publish.
Have a marvelous day, Connie :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post on a lovely series. I loved the impressionists long before I heard of Mr. Armitage and was delighted to discover he portrayed Monet

collarcitybrownstone said...

Thank you Connie. You have a great day too and a fun holiday weekend.

collarcitybrownstone said...

Yes, The Impressionsts is a great movie even if Richard Armitage was not in it. Mr. Armitage is an added bonus.