From the Chicago Reader (August 1, 1999). — J.R.
At once complex and gentle, this 1998 feature concludes Eric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons series and is one of the best films of his career. It’s about the perils and rewards of rediscovering love in middle age, though, characteristic of Rohmer, it has important young characters as well. Beautifully capturing the southern Rhone valley, it focuses on lifelong best friends — a bookseller (Marie Riviere) and a wine grower (Beatrice Romand) — and the efforts of the bookseller and a young friend of the wine grower (Alexia Portal) to find their friend a lover. Riviere and Romand are both seasoned Rohmer actors, and even played together once before in Summer (1986); the charisma generated by them and Alain Libolt — one of the prospective boyfriends, who looks like Charles Boyer — is central to the film’s success, along with the casual precision and growing momentum of Rohmer’s script and direction. In French with subtitles. 112 min. (JR)