L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours)
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Three siblings must come to terms with their mother's mortality as they decide what to do with her valuable belongings in this warm family drama from filmmaker Olivier Assayas. Hélène Berthier (Edith Scob) is about to turn 75, and her children are gathering at her home in the country for a party. Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) has flown in from New York City, where she lives with her boyfriend, James (Kyle Eastwood). Jérémie (Jérémie Renier) has taken a rare break from his globe-trotting business interests to stop by with his wife (Valérie Bonneton). And Frédéric (Charles Berling), the only… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Assayas' script is more allusive than demonstrative, with a distinct whiff of Eric Rohmer in its conversational blocks separated by fadeouts."
‑ Derek Elley, Variety
"Where a Hollywood film of a family feuding over a fabulous estate would surely end with a slapped face and an infantry charge of lawyers, Assayas's work concludes with a smile and a shrug. Life goes on. What else can it do?"
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"( ... ) Summer Hours is Assayas's best film set on home turf-the one that best puts things in perspective and loudly proclaims that one must know how to shed dead skin to go on living."
‑ Frédéric Bonnaud, Film Comment Magazine
"manages a sense of genuine poignancy that never becomes sticky or sentimental"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"The [movie's] concern might feel a little old-fashioned ... but in this film it's reasonably, solemnly, and levelheadedly expressed."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"n Summer Hours, Olivier Assayas's gently provocative rumination on family and possessions, a trio of siblings wrestles with the problem of what to do with the old homestead once Mother is gone."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com
"Performances in this small and profoundly eloquent film are superb, yet none redirects attention from Assayas's earnest meditation on the ravaging effects of a shrinking world on family traditions and entrenched personal relationships."
‑ Greg Quill, Toronto Star
"Has the feel, if not the look, of an old man's film, a meditation on the passing of time."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"The film resonates with emotions as authentic as the details. ... And it asks us to ponder what makes the objects in our lives meaningful."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A subtle, flawlessly acted, keenly observed family drama and poignant meditation on memory, identity, and history in the age of postmodernism and globalization."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Evocative look at a family trying to decide what to do with its treasures."
‑ Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"This is a movie that, for all its once-over-lightliness, stays with one. Given what it's about, and the intelligence of its makers, how could it not?"
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"...leisurely paced but intensely gripping film - which doesn't lend itself to facile capsulization - follows three generations of a French family as they prepare for the imminent death of their matriarch"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The film and its characters are smart, sincere and fully alive in ways we rarely have the opportunity to see."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"A well-constructed film about the end of a life and uncertainty about the future."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
More reviews for L'Heure d'été (Summer Hours) on Rotten Tomatoes