'Rodin' struggles with depicting the life of an artist

( Unrated ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Rodin,' which is directed by Jacques Doillon, stars Vincent Lindon as the great Parisian sculptor.

Courtesy of Cohen Media Group
Vincent Lindon as Auguste Rodin in the film 'Rodin.'

It is, of course, quite difficult to make a good movie about artists. The process of creating art, after all, is notoriously uncinematic, especially if we’re talking about writers. (Last week’s “Mary Shelley” is a case in point.) This hurdle doesn’t stop filmmakers from trying, and I suppose they should keep at it.

But “Rodin,” directed by Jacques Doillon and starring Vincent Lindon as the great Parisian sculptor, does not, to put it charitably, add to the very small roster of Great Artist movies (such as “Lust for Life” and “Vincent & Theo”). Neither, to take two recent examples, did “Renoir” (2012) or “Cezanne et Moi” (2016), but at least those films ventured into the great outdoors and attempted to mimic the painters’ palettes. “Rodin,” by contrast, is a cooped-up slog. Grade: C (This movie is not rated.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.