Alain Libolt

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Autumn Tale Review


Good
One thing is certain: French people love to talk. Eric Rohmer's latest installment of the Tale series is very French -- dragging on endlessly before finally delving into what ultimately becomes the thinnest of plots -- a 45-year-old female winemaker longs for a man, and her friend sets her up with a guy by placing a personal ad for her (and without her knowledge). Ooooh, the scandal! Light and fluffy, Autumn Tale is a pleasant diversion worthy of its tepid title.

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The Lady And The Duke Review


Excellent
"Through a spyglass, I could see everything." King Louis XVI was beheaded on January 21, 1793, but instead of visualizing this act of regicide, legendary auteur Eric Rohmer's The Lady and the Duke observes from afar. Consider it a view to a kill made abstract. A proper British (yes, British) gentlewoman, Grace Elliott (Lucy Russell), and her loyal maidservant gaze from a lofty terrace in Meudon at the glistening city of Paris, where raucous crowds seem tinier than ants. The maid narrates what little she sees of the execution through her telescope (often muttering, "I don't know,") as the sound of cheering patriots and revolutionaries echoes through the air. What we don't see might not be able to hurt us. Just close your eyes and think of England.

During times of revolution, the aristocracy may feel a false sense of calm in their parlor halls, discussing tumultuous events over glasses of sherry until the walls cave in on them. Adapted from Elliott's memoirs, Journal of My Life During the French Revolution, Rohmer's latest artistic tour-de-force may seem far removed from his domestic comedies (Tales of the Four Seasons, etc.), a period film set during the most violent changes in French history. Resisting the temptation for grand-scale theatrics, much of The Lady and the Duke is about quiet, decisive moments between members of the cultural elite as they determine how to proceed as the world implodes.

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The Lady and the Duke Movie Review

The Lady and the Duke Movie Review

"Through a spyglass, I could see everything." King Louis XVI was beheaded on January...

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