A Day in the Country | Chicago Reader

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Begun in 1936 as a feature but never completed, Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country was released as a 36-minute short after the war. It's his only attempt to emulate the style of his father, Auguste: the setting is 1880, along the banks of a lovely, impressionist Seine, where a middle-class mother and daughter from the city enjoy a fleeting dalliance with two men who take them on a boat trip. The charm of the film seems almost too easily won, but Renoir's real brilliance emerges in the way the light tone is subtly modulated into the profound sadness and regret of the conclusion. With Sylvia Bataille, Georges Darnoux, and Jane Marken. In French with subtitles.

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