IFC Films | Release Date: May 15, 2009
6.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 37 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
25
Mixed:
4
Negative:
8
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10
CraigMJun 20, 2009
Wistful, poignant, low-key re-imagining of The Cherry Orchard.
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1
emilysJul 7, 2009
I totally agree with KALTJ. The film was a big yawn. The only people I found who enjoyed it were those who had experienced trouble inheriting wealth. They identified with the situation portrayed. I thought the only interesting aspect was I totally agree with KALTJ. The film was a big yawn. The only people I found who enjoyed it were those who had experienced trouble inheriting wealth. They identified with the situation portrayed. I thought the only interesting aspect was that the State's inheritance laws deprived the family of their inheritance. Vive La France. Expand
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10
JoeJun 20, 2009
Excellent film, one of the best I have seen this year!
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10
ConnNJun 5, 2009
Beautiful, discerning, complex, memorable, penetrating.
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10
ElaineTJun 13, 2009
I loved this film. It subtly and poingnantly examined the issues confronting all of us in a mobile society, at the end of an era.when family estates and property could be passed on to next generations. In a sense there was a Rashoman quality I loved this film. It subtly and poingnantly examined the issues confronting all of us in a mobile society, at the end of an era.when family estates and property could be passed on to next generations. In a sense there was a Rashoman quality as each generation dealt differently with the death of the matriarch and what it would mean to their future lives. The acting was superb, especially that of Eloise, the mother's bonne-a-tout-faire, who was perhaps most affected by her death. This is a thinking person's film and not to be taken lightly. Expand
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10
JayJun 22, 2009
Excellent performance from the entire cast. Juliette Binoche shines once again. In a summer cluttered with loud big budget blockbusters, this is truly a breath of fresh air!
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2
kaltjJun 24, 2009
A deeply boring, interminably long exercise in naval gazing which somehow expects to be redeemed to American audiences by being shot in France (ooh, it's pretty!) and in French (ooh, it's foreign!). Overwrought, yawning meditations A deeply boring, interminably long exercise in naval gazing which somehow expects to be redeemed to American audiences by being shot in France (ooh, it's pretty!) and in French (ooh, it's foreign!). Overwrought, yawning meditations on globalization aside, you'll forgive me if i can't just bring myself to care about a movie in which the central conflict is whether the lead can bear the incredible emotional toll of selling his mother's armoire. This isn't a film, it's a craigslist post. Expand
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10
[Anonymous]Jun 28, 2009
Excellent film! My only minor complaint was I would have liked to see a little more screen time for Juliette Binoche, but this is minor.
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10
KenKJun 28, 2009
Very engaging with a great aftertaste of having a wonderful glimpse into the lives of three generations. Life moves on for each generation.
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6
NeilAJun 30, 2009
While this movie is very well done- good acting, interesting cinematography, aesthetically pleasing- it lacks an engaging plot to move the story along. You keep waiting for something to happen to make things a bit more interesting, but this While this movie is very well done- good acting, interesting cinematography, aesthetically pleasing- it lacks an engaging plot to move the story along. You keep waiting for something to happen to make things a bit more interesting, but this movie is less eventful even than real life. Expand
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2
davekJun 7, 2009
My favorite reviewers, Stephanie Zacharek and A.O. Scott, loved it. I hated it. The film's approach to globalization was heavy handed, and the narrative about our relationships to objects, while also heavy handed, ignored the fact that My favorite reviewers, Stephanie Zacharek and A.O. Scott, loved it. I hated it. The film's approach to globalization was heavy handed, and the narrative about our relationships to objects, while also heavy handed, ignored the fact that such fetishistic pieces are only available to those with certain means. The lush beauty of the house, the art, the characters, and their clothes made me dislike them even more when they sat around lamenting their "unfortunate" dilemma: to keep this gorgeous house and its contents, or sell it and become even richer. I saw little in the way of meaningful conflict with these characters, and even less in the way of movement or character development. I haven't disliked high art this much since I read my last Henry James novel (but maybe I'm giving away my aesthetic hand here). Expand
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1
justincaseJul 31, 2009
Perhaps one of the worst movies I've ever seen - definitely the worst "film" I've ever seen. Let me quote the lowest Metacritic critic, who still gave it a 50, by the way, "Even for a French drama, Summer Hours is so slow as to be Perhaps one of the worst movies I've ever seen - definitely the worst "film" I've ever seen. Let me quote the lowest Metacritic critic, who still gave it a 50, by the way, "Even for a French drama, Summer Hours is so slow as to be practically still." How does any film described in that way deserve a 50? This was an exercise in BORING, BORING, BORING! What a waste of 102 minutes of my life. I really tried to get behind it and don't give me the "you can't appreciate finely crafted cinema" crap. This was just bad, yet six critics on Metacritic gave it 100...a 100...yes, I said 100, six of them! Unbelievable!!! Critics like these are like the people out there who "love" cavier or some kind of stinky cheese - give me a G*d damn break! Collapse
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5
charlessAug 12, 2009
Anticlimactic story with no real compelling interest.
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0
LeeRAug 19, 2009
My wife and I walked out, and I consider this one of the three worst serious movies I've ever seen.

Unless you truly love a "meditation" on something too ordinary to be called ordinary, where a crinkling of a brow constitutes major
My wife and I walked out, and I consider this one of the three worst serious movies I've ever seen.

Unless you truly love a "meditation" on something too ordinary to be called ordinary, where a crinkling of a brow constitutes major action, look elsewhere.

If you think watching privileged people talk about, examine, catalogue, and discuss the family furniture and art collection, this one's for you.
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7
robertiJun 11, 2009
Structurally, a 19th century tale, updated for 21st century sensibilities. Essentially sentimental, but capturing the angst of families in the throes of global dispersal, Summer Hours coalesces around an earlier generation's obsessions Structurally, a 19th century tale, updated for 21st century sensibilities. Essentially sentimental, but capturing the angst of families in the throes of global dispersal, Summer Hours coalesces around an earlier generation's obsessions with "stuff"--the material remnants of shared memories. A well-told tale, rings true to life. Expand
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10
EdwardRJun 14, 2009
Ol' man river ain't got nuthin' on Olivier Assayas' gentle portrayal of a family coping with its identity as established in heirloom objects, which in the end must be sacrificed to the effects of globalization and the Ol' man river ain't got nuthin' on Olivier Assayas' gentle portrayal of a family coping with its identity as established in heirloom objects, which in the end must be sacrificed to the effects of globalization and the need for cash, as the generations flow. Expand
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2
commentscommentsJun 14, 2009
SUMMER HOURS joins a long line of movies about people coming together over a death in the family, 99 percent of which involve the privileged and somewhat famous, making the any connection to them tenuous at best. their so-called dramas are SUMMER HOURS joins a long line of movies about people coming together over a death in the family, 99 percent of which involve the privileged and somewhat famous, making the any connection to them tenuous at best. their so-called dramas are un-relate-able, unsympathetic, and worse, inspire disgust as characters whom we barely know pore over the valued artifacts and minutiae of burying their own. this director's fascination with this international class of art lovers, designers and financial experts bordered on sycophantic, as he exhaustively put viewers through endlessly familiar scenes with estate lawyers and other sour pusses employed by the death trade, with no discernible point to be made, except a unflattering desire to be one of them; to make sense of their elevated banter, their good old times, and their secrets. Expand
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9
DavidJun 18, 2009
I thought this was an excellent film with great performances by the entire cast. I really find it interesting how bitter some of these people giving the film low marks. It's not like the characters were all given everything on a silver I thought this was an excellent film with great performances by the entire cast. I really find it interesting how bitter some of these people giving the film low marks. It's not like the characters were all given everything on a silver platter. If I recall, they all have jobs where they appear to work hard and for the most part appear to enjoy what they do. They actually probably won't inherit that much since the mother didn't do things poperly before she died. I don't have a problem with people making money for working hard. If you have a choice of seeing this film or some of the other garbage currently being shown, choose this for sure! Expand
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3
shellviewMay 28, 2013
Oh the plight of the poor, poor pitiful rich French. Better than a sleeping pill. The acting was quite good as was the cinematography......but the movie as whole zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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8
lasttimeisawJun 3, 2013
My only previous Assayas’ approach is Maggie Cheung’s Cannes BEST ACTRESS nabbing feature CLEAN (2004, 7/10), and for most Chinese media, Assayas seems to alway been in an ill-fated personage as Maggie’s ex-husband. But his works maturesMy only previous Assayas’ approach is Maggie Cheung’s Cannes BEST ACTRESS nabbing feature CLEAN (2004, 7/10), and for most Chinese media, Assayas seems to alway been in an ill-fated personage as Maggie’s ex-husband. But his works matures splendidly with finesse and sobriety (from CLEAN to SUMMER HOURS), the latter resounds a similar pace of meditation and quietude as Hirokazu Koreeda’s STILL WALKING (2008, 8/10), tackles with a slice of family life, with a contemplation towards the domestic heredity, globalized opportunism, alienated generations and art conservation.

In dealing with a sentimental demise of a bourgeoise matriarch, who resides in a suburban villa near Paris with all her uncle’s art menagerie and his worthwhile sketching books (apparently he was a renowned painter himself and an unspeakable family secret), Assayas infills an indefatigable stamina to keep all the delicate matters in a civil restraint, the contradiction abounds among three siblings in regard to keep or sell the villa; and the proceedings of donating valuable art pieces has also been a bumpy road; for the elder son, he also has teenage children to worry about, and last but not the least, his abiding remembrance of the past is the most poignant blow to one who can fit into his shoes under the circumstances.

The show has never been slid into a thespians’ melodrama notwithstanding the fact that its indulgence of a top-billing Gallic cast, a blonde Binoche incarnates a very light-touch casualness as the metropolitan daughter, living in USA and dedicates herself more in bringing the work of art abroad for the international exposure; Renier, the younger son, finds both an opportunity in settling down in China and an exigent situation in which the profit of selling the villa couldn’t come as timely as possible. While these two are soon-to-be-goners, without a pinch yearning for their homeland, the liability all falls on the elder brother (Berling), whose true-to-life embodiment of his character anchors the film’s backbone in a concrete formality, it is a prickly situation will come about to anyone eventually. Edith Scob, as the deceased mother, whose first 30-minutes appearance contrives to establish herself as an indomitable shadow encroached by the past, when she is gone, something else will be taken with her together and forever, Scob is pitch perfect in her role’s demanding of the physical infirmity, an unswerving mind of knowing her time is up and the duty as a bequeather.

I have not conceal my preference to this quiet, reflective lifelike imitation than other more grandstanding razzle-dazzle, it is a simple film with a concise message delivered eloquently by the mastery of Assayas who auspiciously shoulders on the privilege of an auteur not only in the French terrain, but also as an international landmark, like many of his precedent compatriots.
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