Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seraphine vividly recounts the tragic story of French naïve painter Séraphine Louis aka Séraphine de Senlis (1864-1942), a humble servant who becomes a gifted self-taught painter. Discovered by prominent critic and collector William Uhde, she came to prominence between the wars grouped withSeraphine vividly recounts the tragic story of French naïve painter Séraphine Louis aka Séraphine de Senlis (1864-1942), a humble servant who becomes a gifted self-taught painter. Discovered by prominent critic and collector William Uhde, she came to prominence between the wars grouped with other naïve painters like Henri Rousseau only to descend into madness and obscurity with the onset of the Great Depression and World War II. (Music Box Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 100
    It "explains" nothing but feels everything. It reminds me of two other films: Bresson's "Mouchette," about a poor girl victimized by a village, and Karen Gehre's "Begging Naked," shown at Ebertfest this year, about a woman whose art is prized even as she lives in Central Park.
  2. The scene is so emotionally ravishing that it breaks you apart. The peacefulness that finally descends on Séraphine in the film's final moments is more than a balm. It's a benediction.
  3. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    91
    Among the best of its kind, thanks in no small part to the utterly believable, vanity-free performance of Yolande Moreau in the title role.
  4. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    80
    An extraordinary performance by vet thesp Yolande Moreau in the title role.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    80
    Writer-director Martin Provost tells much of Seraphine's true-life story without words, lingering here on the process by which she makes paints, there on the obsessive single-mindedness she brings to her art.
  6. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    80
    Séraphine's dependence on her patron--a cultivated but emotionally detached homosexual, who knew a fellow outsider when he saw one but came and went in her life without warning--is almost as unbearably moving as her inevitable unraveling--when money and fame cut the artist off from her creative wellsprings and drove her over the edge.
  7. 67
    Séraphine is far more powerful when it lingers on Louis at work.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. sunflower
    Sep 29, 2009
    10
    This was a brilliant movie regardless of its so called "slow pace". It had perfect atmosphere, perfect timing, perfect everything. I This was a brilliant movie regardless of its so called "slow pace". It had perfect atmosphere, perfect timing, perfect everything. I particularly liked the main actress and the way she brought life and a tacit mystery to the character. Seraphine was fascinating from start to finish. Expand
  2. yumint
    Jul 20, 2009
    10
    The true story of Seraphine, her desperate poverty as a maid, her love of trees and water, creating swirling energies of color in her secret The true story of Seraphine, her desperate poverty as a maid, her love of trees and water, creating swirling energies of color in her secret painting, paints mixed from blood and flowers and stolen wax, all beautifully acted, gives the movie a premier place among films about artists. Expand
  3. laurenh
    Jul 26, 2009
    9
    Brilliant use of lighting and cropped shots.
  4. Dec 26, 2010
    8
    Not only was I pleased to learn more about an artist whose work I have seen and admired, but this film made a careful effort to be convincing.Not only was I pleased to learn more about an artist whose work I have seen and admired, but this film made a careful effort to be convincing. I believed in the portrait it made of her. The actress deserved an award. Also the
    cinematography and the script and the casting were all exemplary. It was hard to finish because I read in Wikipedia about her, but the film managed to show every part of her life with grace .
    Expand
  5. WillT
    Sep 6, 2009
    4
    The producer never learned to edit apparently. Would have been great if condensed to 1 hour.
  6. JoelB
    Aug 6, 2009
    3
    This was a slow, boring movie - and I love art, the process of creating art, and good movies. It tried to present accurately who Seraphine This was a slow, boring movie - and I love art, the process of creating art, and good movies. It tried to present accurately who Seraphine was but by not going beyond what it knew, it portrayed a woman's outside with no sense of what was inside. It would have been a better movie, if had been moring daring and given us some significant inner thoughts and feelings even if they were technically fictional. By the way, the expert who spoke after the showing I saw, admitted that as far as she knew the only real thing about the whole movie were the paintings. I've been amazed that no critic has given this movie a poor review - what were they thinking? Expand
  7. josephc
    Sep 5, 2009
    1
    This movie couldn't have been slower or more boring. that final endless shot was neither "balm": nor "benediction" ... it was deadly, andThis movie couldn't have been slower or more boring. that final endless shot was neither "balm": nor "benediction" ... it was deadly, and symptomatic of every painfully prolonged moment that preceded it. this film was dark, dreary, and tedious from its first shots to its final slo-mo slog through the proverbial molasses. did i really see the same film that the critics raved about??? Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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