About the film:
The award-winning French drama Seraphine unfolds with quiet, unassuming grace -- in stark contrast to the elaborate, colorful creations of its subject.
But then Seraphine Louis, or Seraphine de Senlis, was also a contradiction.
Possessing a self-taught artistry that would translate into paintings still exhibited today, she spent the majority of her life as a domestic servant, cleaning floors and folding linens. With no illusions of fame (until later), she painted because she was compelled to do so. It gave joy to her otherwise-drab existence.
Director and co-writer Martin Provost opens the story in France in 1914. The middle-aged Seraphine (Yolande Moreau) works numerous jobs to pay for the art supplies she can't make herself.
By happenstance, one of her paintings is spotted by art critic Wilhelm Uhde (Ulrich Tukur), whose shirts and floors Seraphine scrubs.
He is enthralled -- and soon encourages her to paint more and clean less. Seraphine is happy to oblige, but the war interrupts everything. Or almost everything.
While the German Uhde flees the country, and nations fight, Seraphine continues to paint. The two meet again years later, but the artist's mental state has deteriorated -- even as her technique has improved.