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Summer Hours Review

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Two brothers and a sister witness the disappearance of their childhood memories when they must relinquish the family belongings to ensure their deceased mother's succession.

★★★★

The dismal sense that globalisation has unleashed an irreversible philistinism pervades this melancholic domestic drama that proudly exhibits its debt to Louis Malle. It’s clear at Edith Scob’s birthday party that only son Charles Berling cares for the family’s artistic heritage and, on her passing, jet-setting siblings Juliette Binoche and Jérémier Renier agree to the sale of her country home and collections with an alacrity born out of self-obsession. However, director Assayas is too aware that times change to allow Berling’s sentiment to taint proceedings with nostalgia. Deftly played and beautifully photographed, this may lack depth, but its observations on human transience are deeply moving.

Deftly played and beautifully photographed, this may lack depth, but its observations on human transience are deeply moving.