The film was initially judged to be too gloomy and was greeted with derision by a Parisian crowd on its premiere. The French government duly banned it, but after the war it has come to be seen as one of the greatest films of all-time. On the surface, a series of interlinked romantic intrigues taking place at a weekend shooting party in a country chateau, the film is in fact a study in the corruption and decay of French society on the eve of the outbreak of World War II. Now hailed as a masterpiece, Renoir's brilliant social comedy is widely recognized as one of the greatest films ever made. It appeared in both the Sight and Sound Critics' Top Ten and Directors' Top Ten Polls of 2002.