Autumn Tale

1998 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.5 10 4324


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 25, 2020 at 04:44 PM



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1 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 51 min
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2.06 GB
French 5.1
24 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S 1 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10

Unfolds in a spirit of playful adventure

It is autumn in the Rhone valley and grapes are being harvested. Magali (Beatrice Romand), the owner of a small vineyard inherited from her parents, lives alone and attends to her vineyard with the same care she gives to her frizzy black hair. She tells her best friend Isabelle (Marie Riviére), a librarian, that she has no interest in meeting men. "At my age," she says, "it's easier to find buried treasure." Isabelle, however, has her own ideas on the subject and takes out an ad in the local paper to find a suitable partner for her friend. Winner of won the award for Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, Eric Rohmer's An Autumn Tale, the final film in his Four Seasons series, is about matchmaking but this time it is about the need for companionship of older women with grown children.

Like many Rohmer films, a complex web of events and relationships arise from seemingly simple acts of friendship. Isabelle meets Gérald (Alain Libolt), a courteous and laid back salesman through her ad and goes to lunch with him a few times enjoying the idea that she can be still be seductive. After toying with the notion of keeping him for herself, she finally confesses that she is happily married and the whole seduction routine was simply a ploy to introduce him to her best friend Magali. The situation becomes further complicated by the desires of Rosine (Alexia Portal), her son Leo's (Stephane Damon) girlfriend, to set her up with her ex boyfriend Etienne (Diedier Sandre) a philosophy teacher with a penchant for younger women.

Unaware of the others matchmaking efforts, in a true Shakespearean twist, both Gerard and Etienne are invited to the wedding reception for Isabelle's daughter Emilia (Arelia Alcais) and the way it works itself out is delightful to observe. None of this of course unfolds according to plan but the beauty of the film is not the plot but the gradual development of complex three-dimensional characters through typically Rohmerian intelligent and witty dialogue. An Autumn Tale, though it contains some fanciful romantic intrigue, unfolds in a spirit of playful adventure, without guile or mean-spiritedness. Like the conclusion of Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man, we smile for no reason and Rohmer leaves us with a dance of joy and a final song: "If life is a journey, we hope your weather's fair, wild flowers are green and blue, travel safely, all of you".

Reviewed by jotix100 8 / 10

Ode to friendship

When we first meet Isabelle, she is discussing the upcoming wedding of her daughter. She wants to get the wine from her friend Magali, whom her daughter thinks doesn't care for her. Isabelle reassures her it's not so, then goes out to meet her friend. Magali, a wine maker and a widow, has a lot going for her, yet, she hasn't been able to attract a man to share her life after the death of her husband. As old friends from childhood, we can see that Isabelle and Magali look more like sisters. Magali, who has strong opinions, tells Isabelle she would never put a personal ad in the paper to meet a man.

Magali has nothing to fear, the well intentioned Isabelle, decides to pass herself for Magali when she places an ad in their local newspaper. It doesn't take long before Gerald, a handsome middle aged man, answers the advertisement. Isabelle describes herself as though she were Magali. After all, if there is anyone that knows her friend, it's Isabelle! Gerald likes what he hears, although Isabelle's type has never done anything for him.

In the meantime, Rosine, also a well intentioned admirer of Magali, who is her son's girlfriend, decides she would like to introduce her to Etienne, a local teacher. Things get a bit complicated when Etienne, who has a reputation for falling for his female students, and Rosine, see Gerald and Isabelle, as they are talking. Rosine, who thinks something is going on, asks Etienne to wait, so Isabelle doesn't see them.

Isabelle, who during her third meeting with Gerald, decides to tell him the truth, gets a weight lifted from her conscience. Gerald, who sees a picture of Magali, senses a kind soul and doesn't take it against Isabelle for meddling and deceiving him. She invites Gerald to attend the wedding, where Magali is also invited. Everything comes together at the wedding of Isabelle's daughter. The truth finally emerges as Magali realizes Isabelle's intentions to bring her and Gerald together. As with old friendships, Magali and Isabelle's will not be broken.

Eric Rohmer, who also wrote the screen play, finishes his cycle of films with a season as a theme. He created a work of great sensitivity as a friendship is put to a test. Sometimes even a well intentioned person's meddling in another's affair can suffer if taken the wrong way. There is no such danger here. Isabelle and Magali have so much in common that all will be forgotten. Isabelle, who is a happily married woman, wants her friend to find someone and be as happy as she is. The film is typical of the director. He presents the story straight, without any embellishments. The result is a lovely story about friendship.

Marie Riviere and Beatrice Romand, who appear as Isabelle and Magali, respectively, do excellent work for the director. Both actresses give a great account of their characters. Alain Libolt, who plays Gerald, makes an impression as the sophisticated Gerald, a man who longs for a love that has been denied to him. The others in the cast are also effective in the film.

Diane Baratier's cinematography captures that area of France lovingly. Mr. Rohmer, as usual doesn't believe in too much music. In here it comes at the end, at the wedding celebration. Eric Rohmer directed this sweet tale with great style.

Reviewed by DeeNine-2 9 / 10

Rohmer knows relationships

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

And he knows how to write dialogue that is revealing, engaging and realistic, no small feat; and it is perhaps this talent more than anything else that has made Eric Rohmer the great director that he is. Here uses France's Cotes du Rhone wine country as a backdrop and symbol to help him explore not only autumn love, but the enduring friendship of two very different women. Isabelle (Maire Revière) is an elegant, tall, fair haired, blue-eyed haute bourgeoisie and her friend Magali (Beatrice Romand) is a short, earthy, dark-haired petite winemaker originally from Tunisia. Isabelle is happily married; Magali is divorced. They are both forty-something.

Isabelle's daughter is to be married. But the focus of the film is not on the bride and groom, but on the older generation, on Isabelle and Magali. In this way Rohmer combines the warm and enchantment of the celebration of autumn life, when the grapes are ripe for harvest, when love has its last chance, when Dionysus has his festival, when the heat of summer is over and we are ready to reflect and realize what is really important before it's too late.

Isabelle feels this strongly and wants her friend to find happiness before another winter comes. But Magali, because of the vineyard, doesn't have much of an opportunity to meet men, although she allows that she would like to. She is at that delicate age when one can try again or shrug it off. Isabelle intervenes by going to a dating service and placing an ad. She meets Gerald (Alain Libolt) and they have lunch (she insists on lunch) two or three times and she evaluates him. He is modest, somewhat suave and amazingly diplomatic. They share a certain attraction.

Meanwhile, Rosine (Alexia Portal) who is dating Magali's son and who is very close to Magali, perhaps more so that she is to her son, also wants to find a mate for Magali. She proposes her philosophy professor, Etienne (Didier Sandre), who is in fact sweet on her. He is the kind of man who, as Magali observes, likes them younger as he grows older. But maybe she will be the exception. Maybe he will finally grow up. Both arrange for their choices to meet Magali at the wedding.

As usual Rohmer explores humanity and how we relate to one another, and finds both love and a kind of sweetness that is liable to bring us to tears.

The resolution of the film is followed by a most endearing anticlimax in which there is a dance of joy.

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