Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Impressionists with Richard Armitage as Claude Monet

Richard Armitage and Amanda Root in The Impressionists
Three reasons to see The Impressionists:

  1. Richard Armitage as a young Claude Monet (this is reason enough, surely!).
  2. Some of the most gorgeous photography you will ever see in film, as the director tries to make the film look like an impressionist painting (and succeeds). 
  3. And he ends with Amanda Root at the end of the film (no spoiler as you can see them in the photo above).
This is not the best miniseries you will ever see, nor does it have the best acting you will ever see. And yet it is so great to watch. All you need is an appreciation for the beauty of impressionist paintings, or an appreciation for the beauty of Richard Armitage. Granted he is in some pretty odd costumes with some unusual facial hair, but after a while this all fades away and you start to appreciate him as Monet.

I had two reasons for purchasing this DVD. The first one is listed above as number one. But the other reason was that I am hopefully going avec ma famille to Paris this summer and I wanted to imbibe some French scenery and culture before I go. I have to watch Amelie and La Vie en Rose as well so I'll review those at a later date.

Old Monet in The Impressionists as played by Julian Glover
This is a three part miniseries done in flashbacks as an 80 year old Monet recalls his early days as a painter, with his friends and associates in the Impressionist movement, to a visiting journalist. I guess you would call it a docudrama and that is really the best way to think of this film. You will learn a ton about the painters, their famous paintings and the stories behind them, and you will enjoy it much better than if it was a straight dry documentary. The English accents may jar you at first, but this is a BBC production after all.

You will absolutely fall in love with not only Monet, but the young Bazille, who I knew nothing about. And Renoir comes off as an absolute sweetie in this. Manet is fascinating to watch, as is the crazed Cezanne but I really wanted to slap Degas by the end of this film. What a wanker as the Brits would say (it's not such a bad word in Canada so I can say that!).

The Impressionists DVD cover
Anyway, go ahead and watch this one as it is a feast for your senses and a real treat for someone like me who is tired of winter and longing for the scenery of Giverny, Normandy and Provence.

Now I had better just keep reading my French phrase book in order to avoid a disaster like last time in France when I said "Excusez-moi. Mon francais est pauvre" instead of "Mon francais est mauvais". My french is impoverished??? Well, perhaps it is. Needs money!


  1. Yes indeed, The Impressionists made quite an impression on me too! I enjoyed it so much that I used it for my first-ever fanvideo. :) Hopefully I'll make another one someday. Thanks for the post. Great blog!

  2. You have a great site too! It's hilarious that I just posted this today. I'll have to check out your fanvid. Sounds great!

  3. Lovin it. An artist and devout Richard Armitage fan :-)




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