The modern primitivist painter Seraphine de Senlis was discovered when the German art collector, dealer, and homosexual expatriate Wilhelm Uhde visited her rural French village prior to World War I. This transcendent 2008 biopic by director Martin Provost charts the artist's rise and fall, from her lowly station as Uhde's psychologically unstable, devoutly Catholic maid through her acclaim and fortunes during the Depression and World War II. Provost and cowriter Marc Abdelnour explore the mutable boundaries between spirituality, naivete, genius, and madness, showing how the two outsiders and polar opposites cultivated a mutual understanding. Yolande Moreau (Paris, Je T'Aime) gives a vivid performance as the obdurate but impressionable title character, while Ulrich Tukur (The Lives of Others) adds grace notes as her intellectual patron, torn between bourgeois rectitude and his own sensuality. In French and German with subtitles. 121 min.
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