Séraphine: The Voyage of a Fallen Artist

Drama Sep 24, 2010 No comments

Portrayal of a fifty-year-old woman who lived as a housewife, a shepherd, and secretly as an artist.

Release Date: 27 November 2009 (UK)

Director: Martin Provost

Writer: Marc Abdelnour, Martin Provost

Cast: Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent, Geneviève Mnich, Nico Rogner, Adélaïde Leroux

Country: France, Belgium

Language: German, French, Latin

This dramatic film portrayed the existence, both the ups and the downs, of the fifty-year-old woman who lived as a housewife, a shepherd, and secretly as an artist.

Once again, a historic film has been brought to the silver screen as the film director Martin Provost ingeniously uncovered Séraphine Louis’s colorful life during the early years of 1900s. This dramatic film portrayed the existence, both the ups and the downs, of the fifty-year-old woman who lived as a housewife, a shepherd, and secretly as an artist.

Recognizing deep-seated talent

Séraphine’s exquisite yet eccentric art had remained hidden until a German art collector named Wilhelm Uhde (portrayed by Ulrich Tukur) recognized one of the lady’s exceptional masterpieces remaining unnoticed in the corner of the room where a party was being held. It was from that moment when the story of these two different people began to unravel.

The French female painter’s journey had been very rough while she lived during the wars. However, this did not hinder her from bringing to the surface her bizarre form of art with her never-ending use of brushes, paints, and canvases.

Uhde fled during the war while Séraphine remained closely involved in her tightly-bound life of artistry. And, madness commenced after so many years when the art collector returned and found the eccentric woman, who was in her sixties.

Collapse of career

Séraphine Louis had become too engrossed in her art while Uhde endlessly provided her with all the materials she needed. She earned so much money as the art collector went on purchasing her splendid works. Her mind had become clouded with various worldly things like fame and wealth. Thus, it led to fast destruction of her already fragile and erratic mental stability.

The gifted painter spent her final days in the asylum since her mind was already wiped out of all the thoughts of the outside world. Uhde was refrained from seeing her and her art was taken away from her because the physicians believed that it would be best if she remained naive of the life of the accomplished artist she had before.

Striking character portrayal

Yolande Moreau, the Belgian actress who played the role of Séraphine, performed wonderfully and depicted the unique character of this French female painter. Her splendid skills in acting were able to bring out the life of post-modernist artist Séraphine. In addition, her unconscious use of originality and intricacy as well as her portrayal devoid of exaggeration added to the movie’s triumph.

Moreau’s talent for acting has been too astonishing that it could not be described in words and this earned her acknowledgements from different award-giving bodies. With that, she received the “Best Actress” award from César Awards, Chlotrudis Awards, European Awards, Los Angels Film Critics, and National Society of Film Critics.

Evidently triumphant

The collaborative work of both the film writers Marc Abdelnour and Martin Provost produced a victorious film of a mixture of different genres including life story, history, and war. The movie was proven to be a success as it was able to garner one too many recognitions from different organizations of film critics.

Séraphine won seventeen awards including Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film, Best Music Written for Film, Best Production Design, and Best Writing. Furthermore, this movie earned a total US gross of about 884,613 US dollars from the day when it was first released on June 9, 2009.

Séraphine is a totally invigorating movie that can touch lives of artists as well as ordinary individuals of the present times. Moreover, it also shares significant lessons of life that a person can ponder upon during some moments of his or her everyday life.

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