At la Colinière, the deceptively idyllic country estate of a wealthy Parisian aristocrat, a selection of society's finest gather for a rural sojourn and shooting party, and over the course of the weekend reveal themselves to be absurdly, almost primitively, cruel and vapid.
It took decades for Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game to be recognized as a masterpiece. The film received terribly negative reviews and even provoked near riots in Paris upon its release, in 1939. As a result, Renoir cut twenty-three minutes from the original version. And even then, it was banned by the French government.
The original negative was destroyed during World War II, and only in 1959 was the film fully reconstructed from surviving prints and embraced by audiences and critics alike. Now, thanks to an unprecedented complete digital restoration, audiences today can see the film as Renoir originally intended.
Playing with the lightest of touches, yet stinging like the greatest of tragedies, The Rules of the Game has come to be regarded as one of the finest movies ever made.