SÉRAPHINE is the true story of Séraphine Louis aka Séraphine de Senlis (Yolande Moreau), a simple and profoundly devout housekeeper who in 1905 at age 41 - self-taught and with the instigation of her guardian angel, began painting brilliantly colorful canvases.
Director Martin Provost builds his story around the relationship between the avant-garde art dealer and the visionary cleaning lady, forging a testament to the mysteries of creativity and the resilience of one
woman’s spirit. A sleeper hit in France, SÉRAPHINE went on to a surprise win of the Best Picture and Best Actress for Yolande Moreau along with five other awards at the 2009 Cesars, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards.
Winner of 7 French Cesar Awards (The French Academy Awards) including Best Film, Best Actress and Best Director.
I agree with the other reviewer who noted that a film that is considered praisworthy in France (it won the Palm D'Or---the French equivalent of the Oscar) is relegated to art houses in the US. When I saw it yesterday, there was only a handfull of folks out. Quelle dommage!
This film is incredibly touching, the true story of an actual French housekeeper who, in her late 40's, while cleaning in a convent, heard her Guardian Angel tell her to paint. As a simple, devout peasant, she did what she was told, and began painting on small panels, all that she could afford. She skimped on food and coal in order to pay for white paint and varnish. She made the colors from blood, stolen from the butcher, flowers and plants and wax taken from votive candles in the church. She had no training and only painted what she loved, the flowers and trees in her beloved countryside.
Into her life, as if by the hand of the Angels, came a German art dealer who lived in nearby Paris. He was probably one of the few people on the planet at that time who would appreciate Seraphine's work. He had collected some Picassos and Braques and was interested in the paintings of Henri Rousseau and other primitives. He was amazed when he saw the small, simple painting of Seraphine's which had been left in the home of the woman for whom she cleaned house.
Thus begins the fascinating story of how these two lives intertwine. I won't spoil it for you by telling what happens. The film is beautifully told, containing much humour as well as pathos. One is drawn into the life of this amazing woman as well as of the man who discovered her genius.
Yolande Moreau, who plays Seraphine, also won a Palm D'or for her captivating performance. Ulrich Tukur is masterful, too, as the German art dealer who has his own share of personal sorrow.
I hope that this film finds a larger American audience. I urge anyone who likes fine work to see it.
the first thing I thought when i look at the cover was what the hell does seraphine even mean. Seraphine is the name of the main characters, just so you know the whole movie is in French and contains English subtitles.some people can't stand subtitles, this movie would not be for them. It won 7 French Oscars so you would expect some good viewing from this movie.