Seen on 35 at the Metrograph, and I realized for the first time how much, quite apart from a rich masterpiece, this is also a robust audience movie. What does it mean? First, that pure heroism has no bearing in how we lead our lives. Second, that upper- and lower-class people are both human beings like anyone else. Only when "accidents" happen, one side will have to pay, and one won't. Them's the rules. Essential.
By all means, this film may just possess the most fluid camerawork in cinema which effortlessly immerses the viewer into the comedy. However, I am sad to inform that I am not the biggest fan of comedies of manner as their jolliness can sometime rub me the wrong way as is the case with this film's first third. As such, the best moment, for me, are the more quiet and tender that follow and they are what I will remember
Altman tried to emulate this with Gosford Park, and even that multistory master couldn't quite match Renoir's scathing satirical incisiveness of the bourgeois elites. Technically, it's a marvel up there with Citizen Kane. The narrative is almost Shakespearean in scope, and the intent is potent (at the cusp of WWII). French Cinema deserves its acclaim. Renoir (along with Vigo) set the precedent. Outstanding.
A perfect film. It's easy to see why this movie influenced Altman, but it may be greater than anything he ever made. It's such a fascinating drama, and I think it will reveal even more greatness upon further viewings. Easily one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Like a Mahler symphony, a totentanz seeming at once elegant and graceful while delving into profanity and with sinister undertones woven throughout, coming together in chaotic harmony. Gradually revealing a society’s underlying urges which seeks to create and preserve for itself but yields only destruction.