A Sunday In The Country In France, before WWI. As every Sunday, an old painter living in the country is visited by his son Gonzague, coming with his wife and his three children. Then his daugther Irene arrives. She is always in a hurry, she lives alone and does not come so often… An intimist chronicle in which what is not shown, what is guessed, is more important than how it looks, dealing with what each character expects of life.
A Sunday In The Country A lot of people consider it Tavernier’s best .
An old man lives in the country in a desirable property.He waits for his children’s visit .Whereas his son ,Gonzague,who lives a bourgeois life with wife and kids frequently turns up,his daughter Irene , a socialite ,a woman ahead of her time is often too busy in Paris to remember his old papa.
On a clear sunny day,they all gather in the father’s house .Suddenly the house does not look that much cozy.The novel on which the movie is based is called “Mr Ladmiral Va Bientôt Mourir” (M.Ladmiral is soon going to die)and Death shows beneath the placid surface : a terrifying vision of the old man on his death bed -there is a similar scene in John Huston’s last work-;a fleeting souvenir of a picnic in the garden where they used to eat (wild?) strawberries;more prosaically,when the family arrives near the church,they can hear “Nearer to thee ,my God” (the Titanic band’s canticle!).
The admirable sequence in the Guinguettes displays not only Tavernier’s tribute to Auguste Renoir,but also his love for the true masters of the French cinema:Auguste’s son Jean (“Une Partie de Campagne”) ,Julien Duvivier (“La Belle Equipe”) and Jacques Becker (“Casque d’or”).
This is a brilliant movie by the man who is perhaps the greatest living French director.His command of the picture is so fascinating that even the frequent voice -overs are not redundant.