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Magali, 45, is a wine producer in the south of France. She's a widow, and her best friend, Isabelle, decides to find her a new husband. She puts an ad in the local newspaper and finds a nice man, Gérald. At Isabelle's daughter's wedding, Magali eventually meets Gérald. But there's another man around, Etienne...Written by
You really fooled me. I was ready for anything but this. You see, in a way, I'm relieved: Something was fishy, but I couldn't figure it out. But I'm disappointed, too. Very much so. I was already more than interested in you. I don't want to shock you, but I wanted to love you, and I'm frustrated.
OK, stop this nonsense.
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Eric Rohmer is very well known all around the world; He was one of the directors who formed the French New Wave in the late 50's - early 60's, but after that he found his own path. The path he went through with more determination than anyone. Autumn Tale is the last film of his last series: The Tales of The Four Seasons. Before this series of four he made two series of six films; The Moral Tales and Comedies & Proverbs. Autumn Tale is a very beautiful film cinematographically as it is narratively, from the 78-year-old master.
Through his whole career, Eric Rohmer had the ability of making much from little ingredients. His films always had a low-budget, he often used the same cast & crew for his own production company Les Films du Losange. He never worked with mainstream actors/actresses and he used real filming locations with his own scripts.
Eric Rohmer always tried to reach to as realistic dialog as possible. He sometimes recorded his actresses' discussions on their free time, to get to know the way, that certain aged people talked in the time. Rohmer usually wrote the dialogs himself, but it many have told that much had been left on the level of improvisation.
Autumn Tale is about two women, who have been best friends for decades; Isabelle (Marie Rivière) and Magali (Béatrice Romand). Magali, a widow, has isolated in her countryside house where she works as a wine producer. She has given up hope in finding new love. Her friend Isabelle has been married for 25 years and wants to help Magali. This is the basic plot the film builds around, on misunderstandings and coincidences.
Because Rohmer wrote a lot of surveys, articles and books about the state of film, one shouldn't watch his films without paying attention to this. Autumn Tale is about wine harvest, this can easily be reflected to the plot. The characters live in a beautiful countryside town, which landscapes they adore. But all of them are aware and keep an eye on the modernization of it. This reflects to Magali's way of respecting the old ways of wine production.
Autumn Tale is a beautiful story of friendship, loneliness, searching and finding the love and joy in one's life. An interesting perspective on this story is to compare it with Rohmer's earlier films. As I mentioned earlier he often used the same actresses and the thing why one can compare these characters with others is because they are very much alike. Marie Riviere (Isabelle) plays similar roles in Eric Rohmer's The Aviator's Wife (1980) and The Green Ray (1986). Then Beatrice Roman (Magali) in Claire's Knee (1970) and Wonderful Marriage (1981). What makes these characters similar is that they all are looking for men. For something new in their lives.
Even that Eric Rohmer did some films in the 21st century it's quite interesting to watch Autumn Tale as a reflection of his career. Since it is his last film in the 20th century. Thank you for reading and I hope you'll enjoy Autumn Tale, a beautiful film about harvesting and finding something new.
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