Picnic On The Grass

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

One of director Jean Renoir's oddest films, PICNIC ON THE GRASS is visually influenced by the Impressionist paintings of his father, Auguste Renoir, and Edouard Manet (who painted "Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe"), but its plot could almost be considered science fiction. Etienne (Paul Meurisse) is a scientist running for the presidency of the United States of...read more

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One of director Jean Renoir's oddest films, PICNIC ON THE GRASS is visually influenced by the Impressionist paintings of his father, Auguste Renoir, and Edouard Manet (who painted "Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe"), but its plot could almost be considered science fiction. Etienne (Paul Meurisse)

is a scientist running for the presidency of the United States of Europe on a platform of artificial insemination. He is engaged to Marie-Charlotte (Ingrid Nordine), with whom he communicates chiefly via television. To boost his earthy image, the candidate decides to have a "picnic on the grass."

Before long Etienne is literally blown into the arms of a perky peasant girl, Nenette (Catherine Rouvel). Taken by Nenette's vivaciousness, he reevaluates his scientific approach to love, declaring that the old-fashioned method is superior to the artificial one. Filmed almost exclusively at

Auguste Renoir's Les Collettes estate, PICNIC ON THE GRASS held a special place in Jean Renoir's affections. In his autobiography, My Life and My Films, Renoir wrote: "I had the immense pleasure of filming the olive trees my father had so often painted. That film was like a bath of purity and

optimism. We felt, in its making, that we had been transformed into fauns and nymphs." Some critics were less enthusiastic about Renoir's idyll, thinking it a trite and infantile choice of subject matter, and many people just refused to accept the fact that in PICNIC ON THE GRASS Renoir was simply

trying to make a charming, and somewhat silly, picture about love. The 63-year-old Renoir was enjoying himself and, perhaps, revelling in a glorious second childhood, where he found complexity in simple themes. (In French; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: One of director Jean Renoir's oddest films, PICNIC ON THE GRASS is visually influenced by the Impressionist paintings of his father, Auguste Renoir, and Edouard Manet (who painted "Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe"), but its plot could almost be considered science… (more)

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