'Artist' gets past the common problem of the creation of art not translating well to the screen, but it leaves the audience with questions about the film's main character.
Cohen Media Group
In Fernando Trueba’s “The Artist and the Model,” set in occupied France in the summer of 1943, we first see the 80-year-old sculptor Marc Cros (Jean Rochefort) picking his way gingerly through the countryside, parting the brambles with his cane. Clearly this is more than an outing for him; it’s a ritual. By himself, he can let his guard down and luxuriate in nature. In the company of his wife (Claudia Cardinale) and housekeeper (Chus Lampreave), he plays the role of cranky, pampered genius, although lately his inspiration has been flagging.
This all changes when he acquires a new model, Mercè (Aida Folch), a beautiful young Spanish girl who enters his life after fleeing a refugee camp in the south of France. Marc has spent his creative life molding women into artworks of grace and solidity. He sees in this “country girl,” who has never modeled before, and who has been working in the Resistance, a final chance to serve his muse.