Directed by Olivier Assayas, and starring Juliette Binoche, Summer Hours (L’heure d’été) gives the viewer a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ insight into the inner workings of a family grieving their mother, as three siblings must decide how to deal with their inheritance–a large art collection and the family home. As the arrangements for disassembling the valuable collection begin, each sibling encounters various pieces that both remind them of their past in their childhood home and reveal the history their own children will not be able to share.
This film is one of four commissioned by the Musée d’Orsay to help commemorate their 20th anniversary. The famed Paris museum commissioned four directors to create films that feature both the gallery and actress Binoche. The first of the series was Chinese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s first Western film Flight of the Red Balloon (released in 2008).
One of the most celebrated films of the year, Summer Hours has been honored as the best foreign language film of 2009 by the New York, LA, and Boston Film Critics’ awards. It has been listed as the best foreign film in the Village Voice Film Critics’ Poll, Southeastern Film Critics Association, and the National Society of Film Critics poll. It is also a strong contender for the Oscar’s foreign film category (nominations announced February 2).
Commercial Appeal film critic John Beifuss included Summer Hours in his list of “Twenty Touted and/or Significant Films That Never Played in Memphis” (until now at the Brooks). Read it here.
For tickets and more information, visit www.brooksmuseum.org/films.