Sraphine review

A touching portrayal of French artist Séraphine de Senlis

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

A film as delicate, odd, and beautiful as the art it celebrates, Martin Provost’s thoughtful, closely observed biopic of early 20th Century outsider artist (and washerwoman) Séraphine de Senlis takes its sweet time.

But you ignore the slow pace, such is the power of Yolande Moreau’s mesmerising performance as dumpy Séraphine, a woman gripped by religious mania and an obsessive drive to create art: she sings hymns over powerful, almost-pulsating floral still-lives daubed in animal blood and river weed.

Provost’s subtle line on art and madness (no Lust For Life grandstanding here) contrasts Séraphine’s everyday stolidity with her transcendental painting. He also deftly twines her story with that of another outsider, gay German art dealer Wilhelm Uhde, played by Ulrich Tukur.

Roaming the damp, green landscapes of northern France with a fervour mirroring Séraphine’s ecstatic delight in nature, this small, sombre film has its own surprising intensity.

More info

Available platformsMovie
Freelance Writer

Kate is a freelance film journalist and critic. Her bylines have appeared online and in print for GamesRadar, Total Film, the BFI, Sight & Sounds, and