The Artist and the Model’s chief problem is dullness (Renoir’s is Christa Théret’s wretched character). How can a movie that takes place in occupied France during World War II be this empty? How can a heroine (the model of the title, played by the lovely Aida Folch) who’s a freedom fighter live so easily? How can Jean Rochefort (Jean Rochefort!) be wasted in this fashion? Why is Claudia Cardinale on screen so little?
And why—WHY, I ASK YOU—does every discussion of what art is in movies like this boil down to old men extolling the virtues of nubile women? JUST ONCE I’D LIKE A MOVIE TO NOT BE ABOUT OLD WHITE MEN SLOBBERING OVER YOUNG WOMEN. JUST ONCE.
Maybe I’m being too hard on The Artist and the Model. After all, any movie that ends with a shotgun suicide can’t be all bad, can it? Sure it can, because the shotgun could have come 100 minutes earlier. (Spoiler alert!)
While we’re here, let’s re-grade Renoir to “barf.”
THE ARTIST AND THE MODEL
Directed by Fernando Trueba
Jean Rochefort, Aida Folch and Claudia Cardinale are wasted