Summer Hours tells the story of 3 siblings who had to cope with the sudden death of their mother and what to do with the things (house, paintings, figurines, vases, collector’s items) she left behind upon her death.
The film is devoid of hysterics. Disagreements are amicably settled through a cup of coffee, a pat in the back, a hearty laugh, a sad smile.
No sibling rivalry comes to the fore.
When one sibling insists that the other was the mother’s favorite, no scuffle ensues, no harsh words spoken, no faces slapped.
When one sibling has made a call to a real estate agent to sell the house where they and there kids spend their summers without the others knowing, no shouting match arises, no fists fly.
It is a simple film about coping and moving on – the sister living in New York, the younger brother permanently moving to China, and the elder brother staying put in England – and the promise to visit each other when the time and the finances will allow.
Now, will there ever be a local family drama as beautiful restrained and wistful as this French film?