Rembrandt's J'accuse

2008

Rembrandt's J'accuse

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

Audience Score

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Rembrandt's J'accuse Photos

Movie Info

Filmmaker Peter Greenaway explored the life and work of the celebrated Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn in his 2007 drama Nightwatching, and he returns to this theme in the documentary Rembrandt's J'Accuse, in which he presents an in-depth analysis of one of Rembrandt's best-known paintings, 1642's "The Night Watch." With Greenaway offering an onscreen narration through much of the film, the director presents an illustrated lecture on the artist, the painting, and the many circumstances behind it -- the culture and politics of Holland in the 17th century, the real-life figures depicted in the painting (among them Capt. Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburgh), the controversy that surrounded these men, and the subtle suggestions Rembrandt's representation advanced -- and why some believe backlash over "The Night Watch" brought Rembrandt's career to a premature end. In addition to paintings and text, Greenaway also features several actors who are "interviewed" as key figures in the story: Martin Freeman appears as Rembrandt (as he did in Nightwatching), Eva Birthistle portrays his wife, Saskia, and Emily Holmes and Jodhi May impersonate their household servants. Rembrandt's J'Accuse was an official selection at Toronto's 2009 Hot Docs Film Festival.

Cast

Martin Freeman
as Rembrandt van Rijn
Jodhi May
as Geertje
Emily Holmes
as Hendrickje
Jonathan Holmes
as Ferdinand Bol
Jonathan Homes
as Ferdinand Bol
Michael Teigen
as Carel Fabritus
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Critic Reviews for Rembrandt's J'accuse

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

  • A generally absorbing if sometimes fog-inducing investigation into the mysteries of the Rembrandt painting The Night Watch.

    Oct 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • [Greenaway] once studied to become a painter himself; apparently, he's harbored dreams of being an amateur sleuth as well.

    Oct 21, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Peering beneath the painted surface and searching in the shadows, tracking that which was cut from the canvas and mapping the network of glances that remain, the filmmaker uncovers a foul, lurid, corrupt, and perversely compelling conspiracy.

    Oct 20, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Rembrandt's J'Accuse-the first of nine documentaries Greenaway is making about classic paintings-is rigorous and enthralling.

    Aug 15, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Like all Greenaway films, it's not for all tastes.

    Jan 1, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • More than merely a resource for art historians and students, "Rembrandt's J'Accuse" is a gift from an underestimated genius of cinema. You might just might want to see it a second time.

    Oct 26, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rembrandt's J'accuse

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