Unlike El Sur, I find the incomplete nature of this film to be a detriment. Its shift from comedy to tragedy is never developped past the kiss and as such I found the ending rather unsatisfying and rushed. Still, there are a number of beautiful moments leading up to it.
It's a shame that it's unfinished because what's there is wonderful; a tender poeticism about a subject that is, on paper, duplicitous and lewd. One can really tell it's a Renoir film what with the short-lived authentic love doomed by societal expectations and class circumstances. Glad though I am that it exists, the final scene evokes a weight that isn't quite there in the existing scenes, feeling a bit pretentious.
Based on one of Guy de Maupassant's short stories, I can think of no better homage to the brilliance of the genius wordsmith. An absolute masterpiece that lives up to the adage that the best things *really do* come in small packages. Sublime, beautiful, and touching, all in equal measure.
A mini-masterpiece. It's about desire and love, but it's also about how a place, a landscape, can transform you, how you can lose yourself at times and not understand why. Or maybe in the case of Henriette, she really found herself, the self she wanted to be but that society wouldn't allow. Every moment is perfection.
Almost everything that happens here is contained. Class behaviour, unhappy women, treacherous sexual desire. Nature shivers rhyming with the characters, and it looks as if it's been staged by Renoir. There're bursts of beauty: the swings, some compositions with the boats in the river, Henriette's extreme close-up after the kiss, and of course, the ending, with Georges D'arnoux's gesture meditating with a cigarette.
A nice piece of incidental fluff, that has the feeling of summer day, albeit a pretty forgetful one. Renoir uses his calming, observationally emotional style to show a picnic in the country, and the lax atmosphere of gentle relaxation and smiling downtime fun. It just doesn’t amount to much and is too light and airy to carry enough of anything to be too worth while.
Being incomplete I can't say it deserves the acclaim of Renoir's masterpieces, rather it is an essential part of his oeuvre that demonstrates his ability to capture emotion so naturally. At 40 minutes long I was completely invested in this short but sweet bucolic dalliance.
A Day in the Country is an engaging, beautiful and moving short film from directed by Jean Renoir that exudes a compelling warmth and an incomparable sense of romance. The film does feel a little incomplete - the final transition is quite abrupt, but needed - but Renoir's natural talent to tell a story, his visual flair and his characters with a huge human dimension more than compensate the film's flaws.