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All Critics (7)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (0)
It has a curious, muted, infinitely poetic way of treating human passion.
Even these lapses often serve the positive function of bringing us closer to the people in the film, if not the characters. What one ultimately carries away from Toni, in fact, is a memory of felt presences rather than incarnations
Renoir invests it with a sense of character and place that gives it an unusually blunt and sensual impact.
Some of Renoir's staging, faithful to the characters' willfulness, is abrupt, with a casual lyricism caught on the fly.
But even in its truncated incompletion Toni is a curious gem worthy of rediscovery both for its own artistic merits and its influence on a generation of filmmakers.
Each sequence of the film is a tour-de-force of imagination: Renoir continues his investigations of depth of field and the moving camera and makes painterly use of the natural landscapes to counterpoint the drama.
A seminal film from Renoir, with powerful themes and a direct, immediate style.
"toni" is jean renoir's pioneering stimulus to italian neo-realism under the aroma of picturesque backwater surrounded with the rural pastures, the barren cliff and placid vineyards that weave a backset of astrayed affairs in a noirish mode with the trampy femme fatale and his willing romantic sap as the sacrificial lamb.
the story is about the italian immigrant toni who is transported to french countryside to earn his honest living...and toni gets tangled up with two females, one is his virtuously generous landlady marie, the other is the lecherous josefa who literarily sleeps with every possible man she could seduce. futilely toni crazes for virtueless josefa but heartbroken by her infidelity so he ends up marrying marie but still carries a torch for josefa. eventually toni becomes the sucker utilized and doublecrossed by josefa and her ruthless cuckold.
the social satire aspect is the whirling round of italian immigrants, after toni's ill-fated closure, there're yet another bunch of naive foreign immigrants departing from the train with their naive dreams in this desolate field.
to be faithful to the consistancy of neo-realism, the music score of toni is accompanied completely by immediate guitar -playing by the background, and every character looks as crudely primitive as possible to create an atmosphere of wasteland, and contrarily this arrangement feels offbeatly poetic in an artlessly natrual way just like an endearing folk song with contagious affinity.
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