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Arman is 33 and ready to make a change, starting with a run in the park. When he literally bumps into Amélie - slightly cynical but nevertheless lovely - on the jogging path, he's dead-set on making a connection with her. As a bit of contrived fate brings them together, Arman's best friend Benjamin suffers an unexpected stroke, relegating him to the hospital for weeks where he falls for his doting young physical therapist. Over the course of two autumns and three winters, Arman, Amélie and Benjamin share the incidental moments, unexpected accidents, unconventional love stories and unforgettable memories that will define who they are.Written by
"2 Autumns, 3 Winters" (2-13 release from France; 91 min.) brings the story of Arman (played by Vincent Macaigne), a 30-something man who is drifting through life, unsure of what he will do. Then one day, while jogging in the park, he (literally) bumps into Amelie (played by Maud Wyler), who's in her late 20s and in a less than great relationship. After an awkward exchange, Arman is sure that "she's the one" and tries to run into her again, but to no avail. In a parallel story line, we get to know Benjamin (played by Bastien Bouillon), a longtime friend of Arman. One day, Benjamin suffers a stroke and during his recovery he gets to know Katia (played by Audrey Bastien), his speech therapist. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: first, this is a conversation-driven relationship movie, in which there's (in case there was any doubt) lots of talking. Yet it is done in a slightly off-center manner. The main characters talk to each other and also into the camera on-and-off, as if to provide commentary to their own lives. Second, the movie is divided into two parts, with each having about 20 'subchapters', many of which last barely a minute. Third, there are a couple of nice music references in the movie. It had been years, decades really, that I had been reminded of Michel Delpech, the French singer who had great success in the 1970s. And then there is the placement of Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song", from their debut album some years ago. What a gorgeous (and romantic) song that still is. Last but not least, in this type of movie, you had better have engaging acting performances, and on that level the movie certain delivers. I was not familiar with any of the lead actors, but they delivered a nice ensemble performance.
This movie was the January, 2014 release in the on-going series of Film Movement's DVD-of-the-Month Club of foreign and indie movies, and it will be released to the public at large later in 2014. As usual, the DVD comes with a number of bonus materials, including a nice shortie, "Voyage d'Affaires" ("Business Trip", 2013 release from France; 11 min.), also worth checking out.
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