Jean Renoir Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Boudu Saved from Drowning (Boudu Sauvé des Eaux)] is a more leisurely film than we are used to now, not that it is long, or slow, but that the camera isn't in a rush, the action isn't overemphatic, shots linger on the screen for an extra split second—we have time to look at them, to take them in. Renoir is an unobtrusive, unselfconscious storyteller: he doesn't "make points," he doesn't rub our noses in "meaning." He seems to find his story as he tells it; sometimes the improvisation falters, the movie gets a little untidy. He is not a director to force things; he leaves a lot of open spaces. This isn't a failure of dramatic technique: it's an indication of that movie-making sixth sense that separates a...

(The entire section is 603 words.)