Monday 1 June 2015

Autumn Tale [1998]

Rohmer concluded his allegorically titled quartet Tales of the Four Seasons, which was the last of three film series that he made in his fecund career and comprised of A Tale of Springtime, A Tale of Winter and A Summer’s Tale, with Autumn Tale, a delectable and quintessentially Rohmeresque exploration of matters concerning the heart. With its understated wit and humour, elegant structuring, serene atmosphere, unhurried pacing, cheeky plot contrivances and meandering dialogues, the film aptly referenced its title, viz. attempts at love by people at the autumn of their lives with regards to forging relationships. Magali (Béatrice Romand), a quirky, well-read, introverted and widowed 40-something winemaker, is suffering from loneliness on account of lack of companionship. Hence, her alluring long-time friend Isabelle (Marie Rivière) takes the help of newspaper ad and meets a suitable prospect in the form of an affable divorced businessman (Alain Libolt); meanwhile, her son’s ravishing fiancée (Alexia Portal), intends to have her hitched with her former teacher and ex-boyfriend (Didier Sandre). These planned match-making culminates during the wedding reception of Isabelle’s daughter, leading to both gently comedic and subtly evocative moments. Rohmer, as was his wont, made use of complex romantic entanglements, albeit in a manner that was playful, flirtatious and even irreverent, in chronicling this nicely realized tale where a diverse set of people try with varying degrees of success in cementing bonds with their anticipated soul-mates. The mellow tone, vibrant location shooting in the picturesque Rhone Valley, and fine performances, made this a fine summation of the career of the master of comedy of manners and romantic complications, and possibly the most classical of the venerated Nouvelle Vague troupe.

Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Ensemble Film
Language: French
Country: France

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