I happened to watch The Rules Of The Game just today and stumbled upon the Jean Renoir discussion here. Is that movie really considered as being his masterpiece? It’s pretty unbelievable to me. Yes, the scenario and writing is decent, but the acting is dreadful. It’s so overdone it was painful to watch, most of the time. Renoir’s acting as Octave was the worst of the movie, I had no idea it was him until I checked the IMDB page just right now. Unbelievable.
Maybe I have to take in account that it was released in 1936, but unless it’s one of the first “spoken movie”, I see no excuse for this overacting.
He probably influenced the cinema as we know it today though, that would explain why he’s considered as legend, a few scenes really caught my attention and the camerawork was sometimes really amazing, but again the false acting really got me out of it.
I think its supposed to be taken as a farce on the tensions in Europe at the time, the attitudes of the bourgeois and the upcoming war. Though I’m sure the acting is more infuriating if you can speak French and aren’t just following the subtitles.
It really is a leap forward in terms of technique in European cinema and broke away from soviet montage editing (apart from the hunt scene) and used a lot of long takes. It took me 3 times to realise that it its a great movie, still dont think its a patch on citizen kane though.