Adk Film Society Screening Series: Cézanne et Moi

“CÉZANNE ET MOI” charts the parallel paths of the lives, careers and passionate friendship of the post-impressionist painter Cézanne and the novelist Zola. The two boys grew up in Aix-en-Provence. Emile was fatherless and poor. Paul came from a wealthy family. As young men, dreaming of glory and beautiful women, they left the south to conquer the art scene in Paris. Soon Emile had it all—success, money and the perfect wife—and he embraced the very bourgeoisie he mocked in his books. Meanwhile, Cézanne rejected the Parisian scene to focus only on his work, ignored by his peers and the establishment.

The film was written and directed by Danièle Thompson (“Avenue Montaigne”) and stars Guillaume Gallienne of the Comédie-Française as Cézanne and Guillaume Canet as Zola, with Alice Pol as Alexandrine Zola, Emile’s wife; Déborah François as Hortense Cézanne, Paul’s wife; and Sabine Azéma as Anne-Elisabeth, Paul’s mother.

Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, “The film, an intimate, searching portrait of the turbulent friendship between the two geniuses…completely avoids the tone of pious reverence typically adopted in stories about famous artists and writers. Instead it focuses on the insecurity, competitiveness and complicated love lives of these two ambitious men of opposite temperament.”

He goes on to state that “Mr. Gallienne, who dominates the film, gives an electrifying portrait of Cezanne as a scruffy, driven wild man….Charismatic but scary, flashing a furious, wide-eyed glare that could turn people to stone….”

“CÉZANNE ET MOI” has a running time of 1 hour and 53 minutes and is rated R (for language, sexual references and nudity).

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