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L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours) (2009)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 93 | Rotten: 7

Olivier Assayas' contemplative family drama handles lofty ideas about art and culture with elegance and lightness.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 2

Olivier Assayas' contemplative family drama handles lofty ideas about art and culture with elegance and lightness.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 18,859

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Apr 20, 2010


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All Critics (100) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (93) | Rotten (7) | DVD (6)

Assayas' script is more allusive than demonstrative, with a distinct whiff of Eric Rohmer in its conversational blocks separated by fadeouts.

December 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

n Summer Hours, Olivier Assayas's gently provocative rumination on family and possessions, a trio of siblings wrestles with the problem of what to do with the old homestead once Mother is gone.

August 23, 2009 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Evocative look at a family trying to decide what to do with its treasures.

June 19, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where a Hollywood film of a family feuding over a fabulous estate would surely end with a slapped face and an infantry charge of lawyers, Assayas's work concludes with a smile and a shrug. Life goes on. What else can it do?

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Performances in this small and profoundly eloquent film are superb, yet none redirects attention from Assayas's earnest meditation on the ravaging effects of a shrinking world on family traditions and entrenched personal relationships.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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This is a movie that, for all its once-over-lightliness, stays with one. Given what it's about, and the intelligence of its makers, how could it not?

June 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

( ... ) Summer Hours is Assayas's best film set on home turf-the one that best puts things in perspective and loudly proclaims that one must know how to shed dead skin to go on living.

November 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Has the feel, if not the look, of an old man's film, a meditation on the passing of time.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

...leisurely paced but intensely gripping film - which doesn't lend itself to facile capsulization - follows three generations of a French family as they prepare for the imminent death of their matriarch

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

manages a sense of genuine poignancy that never becomes sticky or sentimental

May 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The film resonates with emotions as authentic as the details. ... And it asks us to ponder what makes the objects in our lives meaningful.

May 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

The film and its characters are smart, sincere and fully alive in ways we rarely have the opportunity to see.

May 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

The [movie's] concern might feel a little old-fashioned ... but in this film it's reasonably, solemnly, and levelheadedly expressed.

January 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

A subtle, flawlessly acted, keenly observed family drama and poignant meditation on memory, identity, and history in the age of postmodernism and globalization.

December 22, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A well-constructed film about the end of a life and uncertainty about the future.

December 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Surprisingly wonderful, as if Assayas finally found a space in which to stretch out.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The sheer banality of the proceedings -- appraisals! attorneys! -- threatens to rob those few poignant moments of their own dramatic value.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Supposedly a meditation on globalization and family ties, but to this reviewer it is much more of a French art movie version of Antique Roadshow.

December 7, 2009 Full Review Source:

A lament for the lost luxuries of time and space.

November 18, 2009 Full Review Source: SpoutBlog

Intense yet airy

August 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

A subdued, chatty and poignant family drama.

August 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Offers the sense that what is now being dismantled was itself the result of people who in their own way had rejected an earlier past.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A keenly observed, typically high-quality family drama of the sort only the French seem capable of making anymore.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The acting is superb and the cinematography is top drawer. French films are not shy about tackling real-life issues in a meaningful way

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Audience Reviews for L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours)

"Summer Hours" is a movie about life just like life is. Such as we see in "L´eau froide", Olivier Assayas offer us great and naturalistic interpretations/characters placed in simple stories without almost any action. As realistic as it is possible.

February 8, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Summer Hours" from Olivier Assayas is a completely absorbing and poignant character piece; one of the finest and most authentic films about the family dynamic and the unexpected twists and turns our lives take I've ever seen. Assayas crafts an extremely intimate film here. Whereas a lesser filmmaker would have audiences feeling as if they were intruding on matters so personal, he invites us into his narrative and makes us a part of his characters lives. It's lush, warm, and soothing visuals and tone ensure that we've enjoyed our stay. A remarkable and heartwarming triumph.
March 2, 2011

Super Reviewer

A kindly matriarch leaves her palatial country estate to her three grown children who, after her death, debate whether or not to sell and what is lost if they do.
The concept for the film is strong, and by and large, the performances are subtle, nuanced, and strong. However, the film is simply too slow. At about the beginning of the second act, we've already figured out the film's theme and have a very good idea about how it's going to end, and for the last hour, we're waiting for the film to catch up to its audience.
February 20, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A typical French film: heavy on feelings, and relationships, with no seeming action or purpose. Well done, good insight into people trying to lead a good life, showing life takes control of us and goes on in spite of ourselves. But unbearably slow...ZZZzzzzzzzzzz.
January 19, 2011

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • L'heure d'été (DE)
  • Summer Hours (L'Heure d'ete) (UK)
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