Autumn Tale (conte D'automne)

on July 09, 1999 by Ed Scheid
"Autumn Tale," the last of veteran French filmmaker Eric Rohmer's "Tales of the Seasons" series, is his best film in years. Rohmer again focuses on verbal interplay as characters discuss their relationships. The people in "Autumn" are older than the young characters of recent Rohmer films; they are also more complicated, more mature and consequently more interesting.
Isabelle (Marie Riviere) and Magali (Beatrice Romand) are very different middle-aged best friends. Isabelle is happily married and tries to find a mate fir the solitary Magali, who spends most of her time working in her vineyard. Isabelle invites a prospective suitor (Alain Libolt) to meet her friend at a wedding; meanwhile, Magali's son's girlfriend (Alexia Portal) has mixed motives in inviting her former teacher and former lover (Didier Sandre) to the same wedding--also as a potential partner for Magali.
The actors give performances of natural charm. Sunny scenes of the south of France add to the appeal. Starring Marie Riviere, Beatrice Romand and Alain Libolt. Directed and written by Eric Rohmer. Produced by Francoise Etchegaray and Eric Rohmer. An October release. Comedy. French-language; subtitled. Rated PG for mild thematic elements. Running time: 110 min.
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