Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    What makes Seraphine, directed and co-written by Martin Provost, so exceptional is that it neither condescends to nor romanticizes its subject.
  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. 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.
  4. Moreau is bewitching -- she simply breathes her role, without a hint of vanity.
  5. 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.
  6. Séraphine is one of the most evocative films about an artist I've ever seen--and in its treatment of madness one of the least condescending.
  7. Provost and cowriter Marc Abdelnour explore the mutable boundaries between spirituality, naivete, genius, and madness, showing how the two outsiders and polar opposites cultivated a mutual understanding.
  8. The rare movie that manages to convey the inner soul of an artist.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    What Moreau does with this role is as inscrutably moving as anything Séraphine Louis painted.
  10. With exquisitely simple images and minimal dialogue, Seraphine is both haunting and humane.
  11. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    An extraordinary performance by vet thesp Yolande Moreau in the title role.
  12. 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.
  13. 80
    The mystery of Séraphine de Senlis -- who died in a mental hospital in 1942 and whose work survives in some of the world’s leading museums -- is left intact at the end of Séraphine. Rather than trying to explain Séraphine, the film accepts her.
  14. Moving historical drama brings a fascinating chapter of art history to life.
  15. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    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.
  16. The line between madness and genius is thin. Not to mention more than amply explored in any number of films about tortured artists. But to look at the almost religious ecstasy on Moreau's face is to feel the artist's passion and be inspired by it.
  17. 80
    Yolande Moreau's most impressive costars are the extraordinary compositions of Seraphine Louis.
  18. 78
    A genuinely moving portrait of the artist as a young(ish) scullery maid.
  19. It is an actors' showcase, without being showy, and Moreau and Tukur reveal radically different personalities with just enough in common to make things interesting.
  20. We don't get a good look at a painting until 35 minutes into the film biography of Séraphine de Senlis, the early 20th-century French painter discovered by German art collector Wilhelm Uhde. The film Séraphine is not about paintings.
  21. It's a movie about a scrubwoman who paints - so don't expect lots of sex scenes or car chases. Just expect a great performance by Moreau, who will convince you that she painted every one of those paintings - and lived them all before she painted them.
  22. 67
    Séraphine is far more powerful when it lingers on Louis at work.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Dec 26, 2010
    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 .
    Full Review »
  2. sunflower
    Sep 29, 2009
    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. Full Review »
  3. WillT
    Sep 6, 2009
    The producer never learned to edit apparently. Would have been great if condensed to 1 hour.