Cover of "Summer Hours (The Criterion Col...

Cover of Summer Hours (The Criterion Collection)

Summer Hours (2009), a film by Olivier Assayas, is gratifyingly intelligent but it bored me a bit both times I saw it.  Its fiction about a French family reveals Assayas’s concern with what threatens French culture: namely, global interests and global markets (doubtful) and the ignorance of the young (I agree).  Nothing is said about Muslim immigrants, though.

The acting in SH is first-rate.  Juliette Binoche is sheer genius with aplomb and emotion and facial activity.  From others too—Jeremie Renier (Jeremie), Valerie Bonneton (Angela), and so on—there is anything but conventionality; all offer mesmerizing freshness.  The film is quite memorable for one so static.

(In French with English subtitles)