In an enchanted forest, back in the time of the Druids, the shepherd Céladon and the shepherdess Astrée share a pure and chaste love. Fooled by a suitor, Astrée dismisses Céladon, who throws himself into a river out of despair. She thinks he's dead, but he's been secretly rescued by some nymphs. Faithful to the promise he made to Astrée to never appear before her again, Céladon must overcome many obstacles to break the curse. Mad with love and despair, coveted by the nymphs, surrounded by rivals, and obliged to disguise himself as a woman to be near the one he loves, will he manage to make himself known without breaking his oath? A romance filled with doubt, hazards, and delicious temptations. Written by
Rohmer has made great films so if he makes a strange or apparently bad film it's wiser to check if it's our expectations that are at fault, not the film. Celadon & Astrae is an odd film and I don't think it's a great film, but I don't think it's a bad one. It has conventions- as all films do- but they aren't conventional conventions so it takes time to adjust to them but it is worth adjusting and accepting the preposterous plot, the formal archaic language and the absurd psychology. There's actually a very Rohmeric film here with beautiful fluid filming and a Rohmeric concern with morality and the actors aren't trapped by the conventions they must act in: Astrea and Celadon's sorrows and joys may be conventional and absurd objectively but they are still moving and the debates are absurd in form but relevant in subject.
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