Renoir's last film, made for TV, displays all the effortlessness of a master, with Renoir introducing his four sketches as anecdotes that have amused him. In lesser hands, they might have become sentimental or misguided, rather than the light, deft pieces they are, full of charm and an awareness of civilised virtues. An old tramp and his wife retain their dignity and love in the face of hardship; a husband falls victim of his wife's electric waxer in a satire on some of the dehumanising aspects of city life; Jeanne Moreau sings a song from the Belle Epoque; an old man learns to accept his young wife's infidelity in a piece that affirms the positive virtues of country life as strongly as the second episode condemns city ways. Renoir proves once again that he is among the easiest and most relaxing of directors to watch.
Cast and crew