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September the 1st, 2001. Elliot, an American C.I.A. agent holding top secret information on the immediate future of the world, disappears. His sole aim was to meet his daughter Orlando, whom he abandoned ten years before. Irène, a French agent who used to work with him, and David, his adoptive son, will help him and lead the girl to her father. Chased by William Pound, a strangely poetic psycho, they will defy the dangers of international espionage from Paris to Venice and finally get to Elliot on September the 11th 2001. Written by
Final scene in Venice the characters are sitting as sun rises in early morning and then the scene shifts to the TV in café with news of 9/11 attack. In Venice the news would have been in the afternoon after mid day meal not early morning. See more »
It's rather strange, isn't it? The same person on one side of the Atlantic has a daughter that wants to kill him. Hates him. And the other side has a son that loves him. And thinks he's the best man in the world.
There are many differences between the two sides of the Atlantic.
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A Stylish, Engrossing Tale form the European Front Before 911
Quelques jours en septembre (A Few Days in September) is an intelligent, classy little film that boasts not only a unique story as written and directed by Argentinean Santiago Amigorena, but a fine cast of both seasoned and fresh young actors who capture our attention and hearts as they progress through Europe on a mission that has a lot to do (in 2001) with September's indelible imprint on the world. It is a film that contains biting humor, black humor, love interests, and bizarre sidebars that make the final moments of the movie all the more troubling.
Irène Montano (Juliette Binoche) is an agent in Paris who is somehow connected to secret intelligence in making a meeting with one CIA agent Elliott (Nick Nolte) who holds top-secret information that could change the world... Irène is instructed by cellphone to look after Elliott's estranged French daughter Orlando (Sara Forestier), who loathes the father that deserted her when her mother died, and Elliot's young son David (Tom Riley) from the US who adores his father and has come to Paris to see him. Various meeting places between Irène (accompanied by Orlando and David) and Elliot are aborted until finally the three are told to travel to Venice for a definite meeting. This all takes place between September 5th and September 10th and it is soon suggested that the elusive Intelligence Service Elliott hold information that will impact the world.
As the three characters progress through the streets and cafés of Paris and of Venice they are stalked by a very odd assassin William Pound (John Turturro) who divides his time among reciting poetry, in cellphone consultations with his psychiatrist, killing people and planning the assassination of Elliott. While Orlando and David are at first at odds, separated by language and by disparate feelings about their shared father, the presence of Irène joins the two in friendship and more while acting as a guide and escort through the dangers that lie constantly before them. It is not until the last few minutes of the film that we actually meet Elliott (Nolte) and in these few minutes not only are there changes that occur in the estranged relationship between Orlando and Elliot, but also rapid fire events that breathlessly lead to the moments before the shattering events of 911 in America.
Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne captures all of the allure of Paris and Venice while keeping the focus of the film intense with well-lighted spaces and camera angles. Laurent Martin has found the right mixture of music types to fit the various moods of the film - from amorous to innocent to terror. The film is in both English and French (subtitled in English) and it is refreshing for a groups of actors to move so graciously between the languages. Binoche is in peak form, creating a fascinating woman whose role is so very pivotal to the entire story. John Turturro adds another character role to his repertoire and provides most of the dark humor that peppers the film. Nolte is strong in his small role, but it is the pleasure of watching newcomers Tom Riley and Sara Forestier, so adroit at being natural, that adds to the success of the movie. While the topic of the film (911) is still difficult to assimilate, this version of how Europe was responding and the suggestion of how our own CIA had prior information make for a seamlessly exciting way of filling in some of the holes that remain to be examined. Strongly recommended on all levels. Grady Harp
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