Felicie and Charles have a serious if whirlwind holiday romance. Due to a mix-up on addresses they lose contact, and five years later at Christmas-time Felicie is living with her mother in ... See full summary »
Frédéric van den Driessche,
A careless mother hires a young tutor to bring up her son's marks, as bad in mathematics as in French language. The young woman tries to teach the boy the easiest things in the curriculum, ... See full summary »
Nadja is a guest student, who stays at Cité Universitaire and visits the Sorbonne, while preparing a thesis on Proust. Besides her student life she likes to stroll about Paris, to explore ... See full summary »
A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving ... See full summary »
Laura Duke Condominas,
Two young people, Walter and Charlotte, are walking through a small village in Switzerland a snowy winter day. Walter introduces Charlotte to Clara, hoping to make Charlotte jealous. After ... See full summary »
A shy maths graduate takes a holiday in Dinard before starting his first job. He hopes his sort-of girlfriend will join him, but soon strikes up a friendship with another girl working in ... See full summary »
In Paris outskirts Blanche, a young clerk, befriends Lea, a girl livelier than she is. Lea is going steady with Fabien who is a friend to Alexandre who is going steady with Adrienne but is ... See full summary »
Entrancing; somewhat "historical," but totally stylized
I am truly a lover of Rohmer's films in modern settings. Although the dialog is elevated and more self-aware than any found in real life, the dilemmas of the unusually beautiful people who ponder their way through Rohmer films are always involving and relevant.
But the latest Rohmer historic film, The Englishlady and the Duke, was quite leaden, despite the use of digitized versions of classic paintings as backdrops. The characters were too involved in their narrow revolutionary or anti-revolutionary politics, and the opportunity to relate to those characters was nil.
So I was not looking forward to Perceval, but I was completely entranced by it. It is somewhat "historical," but totally stylized. It is largely narrated by madrigal singers who wander in and out, sometimes portraying characters. The lead, Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) is a nice-looking youth, but not one to make you swoon. He's attractive in a Jean-Pierre Léaud way--objectively odd-looking, yet appealing.
The plot involves Perceval's admittance into the world of knights, gallantry, and chivalry. He is so awestruck by knightly notions that he takes to knighthood, and is taken into knighthood, with no challenge that he cannot surmount. He arrives at Arthur's (Marc Eyraud's) court, finds it feeble and on the verge of hostile takeover, and singlehandedly restores it to glory. He meets women and treats them with respect and reverence, serving them and protecting their virtue.
The plot winds away from Perceval toward the final third of the movie, focusing on Sir Gawain (André Dussollier) and one of his exploits. But I assume that this follows the source material. The movie ultimately reaches a nicely French, existentialist conclusion.
I don't know who this movie is for: perhaps for Rohmer, myself, and a few French & Francophile intellectuals. But I thought it was quite lovely.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?