Critic Consensus: Seraphine is a well-crafted French film that effectively captures one woman's experience with art, religion, and mental illness, and features a brilliant performance from Yolande Moreau.
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as Séraphine Louis, di...
as Wilhelm Uhde
as Anne-Marie Uhde
as Mme Duphot
as Helmut Kolle
as La mère supérieure
as Soeur Marguerite
as Le notaire
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Critic Reviews for Séraphine
What makes this slow, intense film so compelling is its persuasive creation of complex characters: You scarcely believe Moreau is an actor and that the film isn't, on some level, archival footage of the real painter.
A naive, between-the-wars French painter is brought to vivid life in the satisfying fact-inspired drama Seraphine.
Provost and cowriter Marc Abdelnour explore the mutable boundaries between spirituality, naivete, genius, and madness, showing how the two outsiders and polar opposites cultivated a mutual understanding.
This utterly beguiling biopic about a cleaning lady with the artistic gifts of a Van Gogh is just a bit special.
Provost's film has few equals in depicting the dangerous territory between artistic inspiration and madness.
Audience Reviews for Séraphine
This film is decent, to say the most. To call it a masterpiece is too much... This biographical story revolves around a poor cleaner who turns out to have amazing artistic talent. It is the typical French tragedy, done with typical French cinematography. I never liked the character Seraphine much, although from time to time I sympathized with her. Her acting was unique. It was as if she was taken straight from a poor country into the studio, because there is NOTHING about her that resembles an actress, or a star. But, all in all, the movie was well done.
Period drama uses the "tortured genius" blueprint to tell the story of Séraphine Louis, a mentally disturbed housekeeper, with a secret passion to paint. A self-taught outsider to the art world, her works were highlighted by intricately ornate floral arrangements. Sadly, she is such a profoundly quiet, withdrawn woman, her personality fails to engage as a character. It's difficult to care for this dreary woman. Biography also fails to shed light on what made this woman tick. She loves to paint, but no insight concerning why. She is plagued by mental illness, but no explanation as to what she suffers from or if it can be cured. It's clear the encouragement of German art collector Wilhelm Uhde lifted her spirits immeasurably and helped her to become psychologically stable for a time. This makes the subsequent actions of those around her, a thoroughly exasperating experience. Nice cinematography, but the glacial pacing is sleep inducing.
An excellent bio-pic of the primitive artist, Seraphine de Senlis (the fabulous Yolande Moreau), who heard voices that told her to paint the most intricate, beautiful paintings taken from nature. She came to the attention of an art critic and collector, Wilhelm Unde (Ulrich Tukur) who eventually championed her work in France. The strength of Ms Moreau's performance is what made this film for this viewer. She is phenomenal, capturing the single-minded purpose with which she carried out her duties, her naÃ¯vetÃ (C), her devious nature, and her incredible talent as an artist. Everyone else merely inhabits the frame. Ms Moreau commands it.
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