Seraphine Review

Just prior to World War I, a German art collector discovers that his cleaning lady has a great talent for painting. But as her career progresses, the mental problems she suffers grow more intense...

by Ian Nathan |
Published on
Release Date:

27 Nov 2009

Running Time:

95 minutes



Original Title:


Yolande Moreau won a César for her portrayal of Séraphine Louis, the supposedly subnormal drudge hailed as a primitive painter of rare perception in the 1920s. Offering compelling insight into the deceptiveness of appearances while making fine use of Laurent Brunet’s cinematography, Martin Provost breathes new life into the tired tropes of the art biopic and avoids romanticising Séraphine’s achievement.

He also solicits a magnificent performance from Moreau, who’s deeply moving as she transforms from being a devout but free spirit who works into the night into a needy prima donna who is paralysed by a confused sense of entitlement and self-worth.

Superb central performance in this original take on the art biopic.

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