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A Tale of Autumn

(Conte d'automne)
France 1998. Dir: Eric Rohmer. 111 min. DCP

A twilight hit for the French master, then in his late-70s, Rohmer's A Tale of Autumn is the fetching final entry in his Tales of the Four Seasons quartet. Winner of the Best Screenplay prize at Venice — the delectable dialogue is, as ever, something to savour — it features the return of seasoned regulars Béatrice Romand (A Good Marriage, Claire’s Knee) and Marie Rivière (The Aviator’s Wife, The Green Ray), two of the director’s most trusted, talented actresses. Romand, absolutely radiant, is Magali, a middle-aged widow and winemaker in the Rhone valley of southern France; Rivière is her best friend Isabelle, happily wed and eager to play matchmaker when Magali admits to feeling lonely. A personal ad is placed, but a competing cupid already has a prospective beau in the wings. Romantic confusion ensues, bien sûr. “At once complex and gentle ... One of the best films of Rohmer’s career” (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).


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REVIEWS

“As sublimely warming an experience as the autumn sun that shines benevolently on the vineyard owned by the film's central character … A rich, emotionally satisfying experience.”

New York Times | full review