Quelques jours en septembre (2006) Poster

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A Few Wasted Hours in September
David Eastman16 September 2007
Despite a very good cast and a clever idea, this film never happened. The acting was good but the director was self-indulgent with his filming technique.

The film was slow and built no tension, and by time Nick Nolte arrived, the film had already died on its backside. The film wasted time on juvenile political discussion. I literally thought that the American boy would accuse the French girl as being a cheese eating surrender monkey, but of course they just fall in love! Every single role was unoriginal from John Turtoro's poetry reading psycho to Juliet Binoche's cool french spy. Given such an important political possibility, the film said absolutely nothing.
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A Stylish, Engrossing Tale form the European Front Before 911
gradyharp13 September 2007
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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A Compelling Drama
Adrian Glamorgan24 July 2008
Reviewers talk quirky, but offering a different view of an event in September 2001 has to take a roundabout journey to give space for us to rethink events we regard as given. This is not about what the old generation can teach the new - it's about the shifting power balance in the world, a confidence that is about to slip like a picture gone out of focus, a few days before September 11. Through a glass darkly, we feel the imminent change about to happen, the jockeying for position between old, new and confused, but the viewers' foreknowledge gives the plot line extra significance and meaning that would make it otherwise a spy chase thriller and not much more. How often do you see on modern films the kinds of discussions that are in this film? A European perspective, a new kind of world, where even the chauvinist French drive German cars,and the American Empire is given twenty years to live. More films need to be made that explore the truth, separate the paranoid from the conspiratorial, the kooky from the careful look. This films does the latter - thanks to masterful casting and,ahem,unorthodox execution. Binoche has given a sophisticated performance.
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That's the question: Are Americans human beings?
lastliberal24 January 2009
The only thing remotely exciting in the first half of this movie was if and when the sexual tension between Irène (Juliette Binoche) and David (Tom Riley) would end in a tryst between the sheets before one or both of them were killed by William Pound (John Turturro), a poetry spouting psycho.

But then, David's half-sister Orlando (Sara Forestier) appears to hate him and all Americans so much that they will end up together. Who knows? There sure isn't anything else going on as we wait to see if Elliott (Nick Nolte) knows about 9/11.

Quelle surprise! The winner is..., and it only took 85 minutes of the movie to get there! The conversations between Irène, Orlando and David kept the movie interesting until the predictable end.
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dreadfully disappointing
derek-3471 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand why a few people are raving about aspects of this movie - are they related to the film in some way perhaps? - because I really wanted to like this after everything I've heard, my love of French cinema, and the fact that John Turturro is one of the best actors out there. I won't give away any spoilers, but frankly, don't bother. I'm not sure who coined the description "thriller" for this but it ain't. And frankly there's nothing else in the movie to redeem it, everything gets at best nine out of ten. The actors turn in performances that they were asked to do - you can't really fault them here - but the director's pointlessly obsessive playing around with the focus is at best irritating, but mostly just tiresome. The word "dilettante" springs to mind. There isn't anything to "get" here that you might think you're missing, and anyone who puts this in the same category as Pulp Fiction or any other movie with a semblance of action, humour or even a decent narrative, doesn't know what they're talking about. Even the romance isn't worked properly. Sorry to disappoint, it's always a good thing for somebody's pet project to reach the screen, particularly a serious French attempt at grabbing an international audience, but this movie is ruled by a director who needs a tougher producer and an editor who has the capacity to say "no" more often.
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Fantastic threesome
Harry T. Yung8 April 2007
This is not really a spy thriller, despite its appearance. This is the story of the fantastic threesome told stylishly (and sometimes mischievously, verging on black humour) as they romp merrily through Paris and Venice. The spying stuff and the pre-911 intrigue are only for providing a convenient stage for the characters to play on. And don't expect anything remotely resembling the intricate web of espionage you see in Syrianna. "A few days in September" is actually quite simple, if you strip away the clever disguises. But all this is very entertaining business.

The threesome is an ex-spy (now a "spy trainer") Irene taking a young woman from France and a young man from America on a happy excursion through Paris and Venice to meet their father Elliot, a mysterious figure. Orlando and David, who meet for the very first time in their lives, are only step-siblings, with no real blood relations, and you can sense where that is going, despite their initial animosity, the sure sign of a budding romance. When Orland was a little girl, her mother was killed and Elliot left his daughter in Europe as he was recalled to the States. No wonder she hates him. Back home, he married David's mother, and his new step-son adores him. The story opens after Elliot had been sent back across the Atlantic on some secret mission. Where does Irene come in? A certain secretive party, wanting to meet the ever elusive Elliot for a secretary reason, works through Irene. Elliot finally gives his consent, on condition that Irene brings both his son and daughter to see him at the meeting. Complicated? Not really. Just add a weird assassin William Pound persistently lurking behind the three for an ultimate clean shot at Elliot. There you have everything you need to know, more or less.

It is not easy to fit this movie into a nice little niche. Most of the movie is constructed around the trail of the threesome, chasing after one after another aborted meeting with Elliot. The fact that all these happen through picturesque Paris and Venice is of course delightful. In this movie, we have playful wit, amusing character clashes (you can guess between whom), adventure, tasteful romance and character development. Parallel to that is a character that might have come out of "Pulp fiction", one William Pound who evokes William Blake's ominous "Tiger, tiger burning bright" during a bloody killing, and an assortment of other poets on other similar occasions. He also gets telephone consultation from his shrink on a regular basis. (David, incidentally, is another lover of poetry, and we learn later that he acquired the taste from his step-father.) There is a connection with 911 - the entire duration of the movie, as the title intimates, is from the 5th to the 11th of September, 2001, and no one needs to be particularly clever to guess that therein lies the secret of Elliot's elusiveness. There is even the expected discussion on why people hate Americans, but it is not meant to have any depth. At the end of the day, this is a witty, stylish, entertaining movie, seasoned also with a few pinches of black humour. No, not pretentious. You can be pretentious only when you are serious. But serious this movie certainly is not.

The director seems to have a penchant, for this movie at least, for out-focus shots. Here, they works on two levels. First, they create a special mood of mild intrigue and suspense. But they are also POVs of Irene, who wears eye-glasses. When she takes them off, it is as if she is inviting the audience to join her in taking a break from the excitement of the espionage world to enjoy the beauty of Venice through a mist that enhances your imagination.

It is delightful to see Binoche in an uncharacteristic role, a cool (like, in teenage language) ex-agent trying to out-maneuver seasoned adversaries and baby-sit the pair of young people at the same time, and all this while not forgetting to enjoy herself. Sara Forestier ("Hell", "Perfume: the story of a murderer") plays taciturn Orlando who seems to have a perpetual toothache, which is understandable in view of an experience in her traumatic childhood. But she can be sweet, once her defense is broken down by the easy humour of David. Unknown British actor Tom Riley plays American young man David with the right mix of charm and awkwardness. If he were a little more flamboyant, he could remind you of Hugh Grant. John Turturro ("Oh Brother, where art thou") brings to the movie another dimension, as the eccentric assassin, but you will have to switch on your black humour frequency to get the most out of his performance.

Not top-billed, but must be mentioned, is inimitable Nick Nolte. This superb actor seems to be the best choice when you have a character that appears only in the last 15 minutes but will fill the screen when a huge presence is needed. If you've seen "A beautiful country" (2004) you'll know what I mean. It's also interesting to note that Binoche and Nick were both in "Paris je t'ame", in separate segments.
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"Look AT ME!"
Marty24 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In short: This is a very arrogant and unsuccessful attempt to be another Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, or Hector Babenco.

This movie was terrible. And, I do not dislike this movie solely because of the rampant anti-Americanism.

I also dislike this movie on its movie qualities.

Let's start with acting. Tom Riley as "David" was so completely ridiculous in his role. Here is a young man who goes to Paris to meet his father, is confronted by two people he doesn't know, has two guns drawn at him ready to fire, is subsequently told his father had a secret family in France and Sara Forestier ("Orlando") is his half-sister he never knew about. He sees a dead body, dripping of fresh blood, of the concierge while exiting the Paris hotel, and is now in fear for his life. Or he should be. How many 25-30 year olds (I'm guessing that's the character's age bracket) have seen a murdered body, especially in his demographics as a middle class white male? I mean how many of us have seen a murdered body ever? Or have had loaded guns in our faces? Or told about their dear father's second secret family that you never knew about? And this all happened within hours.

But how does Riley's "David" react? Like he stepped out of a shampoo-commercial - he's cooking fine cuisines, making jokes about cell phones and wanting to visit the Eiffel Tower? Either Amigorena thinks American characters cannot practice deep retrospection and emotion or Riley is really one of the most horrible movie actor's I've seen in a while.

The Direction . . . So self-indulgent. So "look at me". So "I can be so deep". It really was pathetic. The most pathetic, self-indulgent scene was one of the last where Juliette Binoche and John Turturro or "Irene Montan" and "William Pound" have the last gun-fight. In slow-motion with the sound turned off, the camera pans outside where we only see blasts of light every second and a half. Give me a break. That was such a ridiculous scene that the other people in the theater were laughing out loud.

The Writing . . . Is this a caper film? Is this a spy film? Or is this - a French romance? The brother and sister (well sort of) begin a romantic interlude because deep films have love scenes -- right? This guy is so deeped out, man. Such a ridiculous attempt to be better than anything ever filmed. Such arrogance in his film-making.

There was one part of the film which had humor and kind of worked. After Turturro ("Pound") would kill someone or come close he'd immediately get his psychiatrist on the phone. That was a little funny, and possibly more should have been done with this area.
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Pound Cake
writers_reign16 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Santiago Amigorena co-wrote one of my favorite French movies of the last few years, Marion Vernoux' Rien a faire, so I checked out Quelque Jours en settembre with high hopes. Whilst it would be untrue to say those hopes were dashed this IS a film that in refusing classification will alienate as many, if not more, than it intrigues. Any movie that boasts John Turturro as a hit man named William Pound - or indeed as a hit man at all - has to be intriguing to say the least but almost as if that were not enough for Amigorena he embellishes the character by having him spout poetry in addition to being in analysis via cellphone. The film veers wildly and erratically between black comedy, thriller, incest, world politics and travelogue and to expand on just one of those labels it's a thriller shot at the pace of a Merchant/Ivory period piece. The out-of-focus sequences favored by Amigorena break the rules because they are NOT always from the point of view of Juliette Binoche - who periodically removes her eyeglasses to justify the effect but against this the camera-work plays down the two principal locations, Paris and Venice, and is refreshingly free of 'touristy' angles. It was, of course, only a matter of time before someone got around to speculating on the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and this is, I suppose, as relevant as any but will inevitably seem like a let-down to the bubble-gum set should they wander in by mistake. For the rest of us it's highly watchable on several levels which is more than sufficient.
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Pretty cool
Jadestone347164111 October 2006
I am an American student studying in France right now, and this is the first foreign film I've seen here. It was a great movie, and was easy to follow for a person with minimal French experience (one of the main characters is American, and whenever the other two main characters are around him they have to speak English, a plus since it helps you catch up on all the french bits you didn't get!). It did have a few artful elements, a few gruesome visuals, but it worked. The use of poetry, silence, out-of-focus visuals, etc. was great, it made the feel of the film better than I had expected. Intreaguing storyline, great characters.

All in all, I recommend the film.
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Pretentious euro-pudding pseudo-spy movie
lefrelonvert17 September 2006
Other than good performances from Juliette Binoche, Sara Forestier and the likable newcomer Tom Riley, this movie doesn't have much to recommend it. Aiming to be a "metaphoric" spy movie about the evils of secrecy and the wounds of childhood, the film fails for having plot devices instead of characters and a sloppy, unconvincing direction, resulting in an overall bore. We are also treated with highly annoying anti-American propaganda. Nick Nolte pops up in the last ten minutes like a poor man's Colonel Kurtz but his appearance comes too late to wake up the movie. For works playing successfully playing with the thriller genre, try some of Paul Austers'books or Wim Wenders'earlier films instead. Skip this one.
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A spy thriller well build and acted.
michel-crolais19 September 2006
An American spy, named Elliot who possesses very secret pieces of information, give an appointment in Paris to three people that are his daughter Orlando that he has not seen since ten years, his adopted child, David and a female faithful friend who has formerly worked with him, Irene. But an implacable killer, William Pound, is pursuing him, and the meeting has to be deleted and transferred to Venice where will be the dramatic ending. This movie is very well acted, particularly by Juliette Binoche and the atmosphere is very interesting. The only reproach I can do is that the director uses too much the same proceeding for the photographic effects, such blurred image. It seems that the movie will not be seen on television set or CD.
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I can't do it...I literally can't take anymore of this movie....
Robert W.21 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As a huge film buff I watch a little of absolutely everything. I have over 700 reviews under my belt in about three years and it takes something absolutely disastrous for me not to sit through and torture myself for the sake of being able to review the movie for you fine readers but I apologize here and now. I can't do it...I can't sit through another living second of Quelques jours en septembre (A few Days in September), it might be literally the most boring piece of so called film I have ever seen in my life. When I picked it up in my local Blockbuster it was a little pricey but when I read the back, I thought it sounded like something really interesting, thrilling and very intelligent so I paid the extra and got it...so glad I did ((cough cough)) I know that everybody has their own likes and dislikes and I knew reading other reviews that people would like it but it always blows my mind to actually see it in print. People actually referred to this as THRILLING? EXCITING? DARK? DISTURBING? What in the hell?!?! Thrilling? There was nothing thrilling, there was no action whatsoever save for a brief bloody killing in the first ten minutes and then it was another solid hour of talking, and traveling and a mish mashed story that is literally in both English and French which is fine but the story was awful. Spies yes. Intrigue. NO.

The performances aren't entirely a write off. Juliette Binoche is decent as a cocky, sneaky spy of some kind. A lot of times her performance comes across as a little bit creepy and you wonder what she knows that you don't. However she is lovely and does an okay job in a terrible movie. John Turturro, who is an amazing multi talented actor is just ludicrous and ridiculous as some sort of Assassin out to kill someone for some reason, and find something somewhere. Literally I have no idea. Plus every once in awhile he calls his shrink and talks to him about things that bother him. What a waste of talent. His role is unredeemable. Sara Forestier probably gives one of the best performances as snarly, sarcastic Orlando who is brought on this trip after her father wants her brought to him somewhere. She gives a good solid performance in an otherwise disastrous movie and has good chemistry with Binoche which is remarkable given the circumstances. Tom Riley appears to be no more than eye candy for the ladies and I mean the ladies of the cast as most of the film is spent with Binoche and Forestier eye balling him and undressing him and carrying on some sort of twisted friendship between the three of them. Nick Nolte is a guy on the phone...I don't know why...I don't care...

I get that Nolte's character has some kind of information regarding 9/11 but I mostly know that from the back of the box. The entire film is some sort of darkly sexually charged road trip between the three of them avoiding Turturro's ridiculous character and trying to find Nolte. Director and writer Santiago Amigorena has instantly became someone I intend to steer clear of if he thought of this in his head and actually...((gulp)) won awards for this. I can't even hardly believe I wasted the last twenty minutes writing about this garbage. Please, no matter what your tastes in films, steer as far away from this absolute borefest and excuse for artistry because there is nothing worthwhile here. ZERO/10 (Almost the worst movie I have ever seen)
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A real aesthetic and dramatic attainment
monsieurubu30 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If you are waiting for action and violence, don't go and see this film. The spy plot, in this movie, is only a pretext to show us the meeting of three strangers who learn to know and understand each other while they are waiting the final coming of Elliot, under the threat of William Pound, a hilarious psychotic killer played by John Turturro. What is interesting is to see how, gradually, characters begin to talk really, and to build a real link between them. In some way "Quelques jours en septembre" may remind us of "Sonatine", by Takeshi Kitano ; the whole film is indeed totally based on a very long expectation ; an expectation that the audience is obliged to share with the characters : during the 40 first minutes we don't know where Santiago Amigorena is leading us, we are totally lost - but if we have the patience to wait, we enter the action and get really rewarded for our efforts. To conclude, I must mention Tom Riley and Juliette Binoche's remarkable performance, a very original aesthetic "parti pris", and a very pleasant bittersweet humor (I think for example of John Turturro's dialogs with his psychiatrist).
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deeply irritating on every level
gabridl25 December 2007
Forget the obvious sources of annoyance: the fat and ugly girl, Binoche's toothless simpers and cigarillos, impossible characters, absurd pomposity passing for dialog, obsession with incest, plot holes, cookie-cutter stereotypes, annoying camera-work, poor direction, lame acting—the worst part of this film is the premise, which is that the older generation, in the form of a dynamic and responsible French-American duo, will teach the younger generation, in the form of a passive and irresponsible French-American duo, to get along. As if.

They want me to write some more. I will. Don't waste your time on this tripe. The whole movie I was just hoping for the characters to die.
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tryllekunstverk25 August 2016
Even the fantastic Juliette Binoche cannot save this too jazzy editorial self stimulated contemporary cotton eye mixture of noir bluff meets arty intentions without a heart or a handshake

Jeez, I need a beer and a good nights sleep

Some times expectations just ruins your evening. Putting the DVD into the mac was my biggest mistake tonight.

The story never evolved. The plot was not visible. There was no master plan. Only a director trying to make an impression on other directors, pure jazz without a boiling kettle…

My advice: buy some popcorn and watch Kieslowski
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Pree Ten Shuss
Aristides-219 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A Cliché wrapped in an Amateur swallowed by a Poseur. ...The "laughter" of a sophisticated Binoche when a banality is uttered. ...The inexperienced director telling or allowing Reilly to play cute. ...The Reilly character not doing or saying anything in the presence of a person who plans on killing the 'father' he loves. .....Turturro embarrassing himself with the poetry bit (well, he does have a right to earn a living). .....Poor Nolte allowing himself to be photographed without heavy diffusion lenses. ....."Sincere" Nolte playing a beseeching scene with his daughter proving to the viewer that he's a sociopath. .....Clever Turturro being able to smuggle a huge cache of guns, ammo and a ton of sophisticated electronic equipment from France to Italy. .....The young girl, a geese shepherd, with a surprising knowledge of revolver and semi-automatic pistol use. .....Gee. The two kids go from her being hostile to him and then having sex. But millionaires to be, they talk about spending the rest of their lives together! ..... Also: what are we to say about the writer/director whore using 9-11 as a hook? And so on, ad-nauseum. I ask you: how does swill like this get produced?
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It just does not entertain.
Mal Walker17 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A very disappointing film. Turturro is one of my favourite actors and he tries very hard to do something with his character, unfortunately he fails. Binoche as a spy for me did not work, looking good is not enough. The two 'Children' for sure acted like children but more like 8 or 9 year old then mid twenties, that is until they had to bring in the expected sex scene. But the real downer of this film is the story and the lack of credibility. Of course the biggest boob of many was Binoche secretly in Venice, knowing that Elliot's life and maybe all their lives are in the balance if the hit-man finds out where they are, rings up someone and asks them to feed her tortoise and then tells them that they are in Venice. The two girls playing with their guns all the time was just ludicrous and why a girl looking after a gaggle of geese in an obscure little town in France walks around with a revolver hidden in her belt, beggars belief. Forget the ten minute brushing teeth conversation, forget the threesome pillow fight, forget poor old Elliot getting shot through the window and everyone else still walking around past the window (as though knowing only Elliot is going to get shot) forget all these silly moments and what we have left is a pretty boring film. The cameraman tried to enjoy himself by blurring the screen to show that Binoche had to wear spectacles to see beyond a few inches, once or even twice would have been allowable, but it was so often that it became obnoxious. A couple of views of Venice were nice, I was wishing I was there and not wasting my time watching this movie......... and if anyone can believe that the CIA knew 9/11 was going to happen..... well it figures!
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A Canadian point of view.
jarredfosbery12 December 2013
This movie was anything but understated, I found some of the nuances to be intriguing while others were over done. I always harp on lack of character development and this film is not spared the rod. I felt some of the actions of the characters in the film were unearned, we hadn't met that side of the character when these events came about. Other than that, I found it to be an awesome movie to talk about or watch at the beginning of a movie night with friends. On it's own this movie would be a 5 or six but the underlying themes are very well stated when seen from a Canadian's point of view but also as a neutral bystander to the real events in question during the movie. I watched this movie a while back and was surprised to see it's low rating. I know that it's a middle aged movie but I thought I would fill out a review to show some love. I watched this movie back when my town still had a movie rental place that didn't cost 20$ Per late day (seriously). To watch it again legally would cost 1 million dollars (the cost of twenty dollar a day late fees times every movie I ever rented times ADD)therefore I couldn't watch it again while being a peace loving, law abiding Canadian. After watching it for a second time recently I began to realize why the rating was so low. It's a very mixed movie and complicated movies are often badly received from the "I didn't understand the movie the very first time I thought about it" crowd. On top of that its a french movie, an anti American movie and a movie that addresses freely issues that many hold sacred and untouchable. I say all of that to say this: watch the movie, before a long shift at work or a road trip or some event where you will have the opportunity to chew on it and Watch it as a movie and not as a political statement. That's all I can say about it. Enjoy.
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Euro-Argentinian fossil movie
Lino Dubert4 April 2013
A truly pretentious movie. An eurocentric & decadent view of world politics. I've got the impression that the oldfashioned views of a remote European country lost (in all senses) in the southern tip of the American continent has resulted in this moth-ridden flick. It's depressing to see the talent of Me.Binoche lost in idiotic cosmopolitan smiles and intellectual frowns behind the out-of-focus smoke of a sexy cigarillo. In Madrid, a couple of days after its première, the cinema was empty. Everybody went to watch a much better American thriller. It's sad that we are no longer the center of the world although we may find some confort in calling the American "dinosaurs". Too bad we are just "dinosaur footprints"...
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Watch It Anyway
samkan24 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film was panned big time by the pros (doesn't look like it got a major release) and the users herein. I'll concede to the "haters" that they know more than me of the director, European cinema, film technique, etc. Ignorance may in fact be bliss. If you're not a film snob you may enjoy this movie too.

Overcome the well-founded criticism that neither spies nor ordinary people behave like AFDIS characters. This complaint can be said of many, maybe most films. Our protagonist trio indeed appear on a field trip as opposed to espionage. Evil agent Will Pound (Turturro) is written way over-the-top. Using 9/11 as a plot tool may have been useful but indeed is somewhat insulting; e.g., someone, maybe our government had advance notice but failed to act?

But suspend the above faults and you've got an engaging, well-paced, fun dialog movie that will make you smile and shudder at times. The Europe venues and scenery are done nicely. The theme of "ugly American" is treated in an interesting and thoughtful -if at times irreverent- manner. The climax (if not an astonishing twist) fits in well with the rest of the move: Let me describe the ending as fitting given the ambiguity of the underlying emotions.

NOTE: Films are clearly in the eye of the beholder. One USER comment herein calls Miss Forestier fat and ugly. She is far from fat and truly beautiful.
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An engaging but flawed film.
rednik-993-6813326 March 2011
This is another film stultified by self-conscious direction and faddish photography. I have had enough of blurry, shaky, false colour cinematography for the rest of my life. Watch a Clint Eastwood directed film and see story-telling, in-focus, at its best. See also The King's Speech for developing characters. A Few Days in September had a good cast with wonderful actors like Binoche and Tuturro, although Binoche was not capitalised. Unlike other reviewers, I found the young people's discourse right on the mark for generation Y. Tuturro's psycho character might be an accurate parallel for what the American state thought was acceptable at the time of the story. Who knows, American international behaviour has been much more bizarre that Tuturro's character at times. Maybe too, a Venetian contact provided the large case and heavy calibre rifle locally rather than has been suggested that it was taken through customs. Despite its serious flaws, I enjoyed the story, and just seeing Binoche a lot in close up, such a wonderful face to photograph. To the director, don't forget that someone has to watch the film and does not need to get irritated by art for art's sake, especially when it "ain't Picasso". The version I saw did not have sub-titles and this hurt the film for me because my other languages are not European or Arabic. I look forward to more of Binoche and Tuturro but not blurred vision. It was not, as Binboche suggested, another way of looking at things.
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The spy who bored me
cmoyton1 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is one that needs the option for zero in the drop down menu when voting. Top marks to the team who designed the sleeve for the DVD. They are the reason why i watched this because they made it sound exciting with those quotes about "blood drenched streets" and Turturro's "tour de force performance". Am i missing something because this is an absolute travesty. Not only does the so called plot move at an elderly snails pace the characters are unbelievable.

In summary a bickering half brother (American)and sister (French)are brought together under the protection of a female French secret service agent to rendezvous with their father who is the target of an eccentric assassin. The trio journey on a euro trip while trying to shake the pursuing hit-man before they meet the father. The father played by a grizzled Nick Nolte has some intelligence about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Centre but as he seems to be working for himself now rather than American intelligence he is more concerned about the impact on stock options for his family and friends. You have to sit through over one hour of bickering, travelling, eating, drinking, pillow fights, Turturro's rambling poetry musings and eventual incest before Nolte appears. Just in case you dozed off news footage of the twin towers appears on a TV screen at the end.

Don't bother wasting your time with this bore which thinks it has something to say but is as empty as a vacuum.
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99 cents I'll never get back
cashman195514 July 2012
I don't know the words necessary to truly describe how awful this movie is. First and foremost, it's an anti American diatribe. Yes, George Bush stole the 2000 election, the US paved the way for Iraq to invade Kuwait, and the US government had advance knowledge of the September 11th attacks. And those are the good parts. Every performer did such terrible jobs, it's hard to choose who was the worst, but I'll say the girl who played the daughter.

Even John Turturro, who I have never seen in a bad role, is bad in this bomb.

I guess this is supposed to be some sort of spy thriller, with lots of phone calls and clandestine meetings set up but never carried out. It failed miserably to create any tension, and was a good 45 minutes too long for the amount of story they had to begin with.
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Not art-house - fart- house
petwolf12 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There isn't much new I can add about this film. Take everything negative from the other reviewers and multiply it by ten. Whichever angle I look at it from (script, camera, acting, story, etc.), I can't say anything positive about it. The most incredible thing is that JB took on this role! What was she thinking!? Perhaps a new title "Die ALREADY!" would help. If you like art-house, DON'T watch this movie. If you DON'T like art-house, definitely give it a miss. The Teletubbies have more substance than this fart-house production. You've been warned. Go and have a root-canal procedure instead - it will be a pleasant experience in comparison.
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