• French director Olivier Assayas’s lyrical, complex family drama Summer Hours, starring Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, and Jérémie Rénier as grown siblings coping with the death of their mother, was one of the best-reviewed films in the United States at the time of its release, winning major awards from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among others. Now that the film has been released in Criterion Blu-ray and DVD special editions, critics are getting out their superlatives all over again.

    Stuart Galbraith IV, writing for DVD Talk, says, “Drawing from Ozu and Bresson but also highly original and personal, Summer Hours is not be missed,” and adds that the film is “delicately understated, impressively honest.” Paper’s Dennis Dermody calls it “exquisite” and “a real triumph.” The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review’s Garrett Conti cites its “superb performances” and “exquisite cinematography.” Home Theater Forum’s Matt Hough says, “Summer Hours will take you by surprise,” and calls it a “sneaky emotional wallop masquerading as a quiet domestic drama.” And Leonard Maltin, in a review for his ReelzChannel TV series Leonard Maltin’s Secret’s Out (watch clips here), praises the film for drawing out “emotional truths we don’t often find in American movies.”

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