A little less than fifteen years ago, Martin Provost won seven Césars, including Best Film, thanks to Séraphine. Today, he offers us a new portrait of a woman in the world of painting, thanks to Bonnard, Pierre and Marthe.
Screened at the last Cannes Film Festival, the feature film looks at the life and work of French painter Pierre Bonnard (Vincent Macaigne), through his relationship with Marthe (Cécile de France), his wife and muse who appears in the third of his creations. But what did the first spectators think of this romantic costume drama?
With an average of 3.3 out of 5, obtained from 116 ratings*, Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe is ahead of The Good Wife (2.6) in Martin Provost's filmography. He is tied with Sage Femme (3.3 out of 5) ahead of Violette (3.2), and just behind Séraphine (3.5).
Among Cécile de France's recent films, this one starts ahead of La Passagère (3 out of 5) but behind Lost Illusions (4.3) and Second Tour (3.7). On Vincent Macaigne's side, this film starts on a par with Un coup de maître… where it was already a question of painting and Pierre Bonnard.
This is the main selling point of the feature film. But also its greatest quality: Vincent Macaigne and Cécile de France. Of the “very fair actors” pour Gigifan of Les Bronzés and/or the musical with Leslie Caron, who gives this a rating of 5 out of 5 “film full of grace.”
Marie M. (4 out of 5) also salutes the interpretation of the central duo and cites the performance of Anouk Grinberg, “delicious in Misia”while Damien Vabre (3 out of 5) adds André Marcon in his congratulations. “Vincent Macaigne is, as usual, remarkable on screen and Cécile de France offers a very beautiful composition”says Bart Sampson (3.5 out of 5).
Et traversay1 (3 out of 5) makes his mea culpa: “The Vincent Macaigne/Cécile de France couple was certainly not an obvious choice, but their duo works perfectly, both in harmony and in moments of crisis.” “Painting and making love, this is enough to sum up Bonnard’s life, without forgetting to show us some famous friendships, with Vuillard and Monet, for example”he continues before highlighting another of the qualities that often comes up.
“But there is Marthe, more interesting than her famous husband and it is only natural that the film leans towards her, exploring the complexity of her character, which makes her much more than a simple companion of the artist.” A strong point that Bart Sampson also underlines, evoking it thus: “Finally the film reveals its true nature to us – the sources of inspiration and creation, this invisible link between a muse and an artist, a muse who herself will become a painter without achieving the notoriety of her companion.”
Vincent Macaigne is, as usual, remarkable on screen and Cécile de France offers a very beautiful composition
Gigi specifies that the paintings of Pierre Bonnard are well highlighted, and Moviegoers 44 (3.5 out of 5) that the film is in their image: “bright, generous and extravagant.” While recognizing the interest of a classic staging, which is more debated among Internet users.
THEY DID NOT LIKE
“Martin Provost's film is of great classicism and sure taste in the sets and costumes. We can criticize him for a certain lack of risk-taking but the subject did not impose it and his temporal ellipses seem strong appropriate”admits, with many nuances, traversay1.
More Simon Bernard (3 out of 5), who was not convinced by the actors, sees only one “wise biographical product which uses all the well-known codes of this type of story without many surprises or unexpected.” And if classicism didn't bother him, Moviegoers 44 was not crazy excited though: “It never leaves academic codes and Martin Provost’s feature film suffers from a lack of rhythm and letting go.”
A wise biographical product which uses all the well-known codes of this type of story without many surprises or unexpected
That jean-charles E. (0.5 out of 5) sums it up like this, taking less tweezers: “Not credible, simplistic, uninteresting. Too bad with such good actors. It's hard to believe that it's the same director as Séraphine.”
What seems to confirm jackflashdespite a slightly better rating (1.5 out of 5): “Hollow, narrative biopic, with no argument other than historical. The two main roles are correct but that's not what cinema is.”
Vincent Macaigne and Cécile de France are almost unanimous in the shoes of the painter Pierre Bonnard and his wife and muse Marthe. And the importance given to the latter has attracted more than one Internet user, as it allows them to see his work differently.
On the form, the classicism of Martin Provost's direction is however debated: necessary in the context of such a period film for some, synonymous with an absence of risk-taking for others, while that the rhythm is criticized.
And you ? What did you think of this Bonnard, Pierre et Marthe?
*Notes as of Thursday January 11, 2024