Toni Screen 2 articles

Toni

1935

Toni Poster
  • Neither a major nor a minor work in the Renoir canon, Tonidemands to be regarded more as an adventure of the director in contact with his material than as an integral and “finished” composition... Over and around the largely melodramatic plot is draped an expansive mood of leisurely improvisation, like an ill-fitting but comfortable suit of clothes, often permitting the accidental and random to take precedence over the deliberate, the individual detail over the general design.

  • Writing about Jean Renoir’s Toni (1935) has focused on the way it anticipated neorealism with its use of location shooting, non-professional actors and environmental sound, and with its starkly un-idealized plot and characters. (Luchino Visconti was the assistant director.) But the film is stunning not for its realism so much as for its realness, a vivid sensuality born from the alchemy of documentary naturalism and unabashed artistry.