Late August, Early September - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Late August, Early September Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 9, 2009
I see the word "sublime" used in reference to this movie. Sublime is not the word I'd choose here. If anything, I'd place this in the anti-sublime camp. If there is any kind of transcendence in this film -- outside of death, it comes at the very end, where Vera, the 16-year-old ex-lover of the 41-year-old Adrien appears to finally find true happiness with a boyfriend in her own age range. To qualify as sublime, I think a work needs to be rising above the mundane, the quotidian, the commonplace. I associate it with some kind of happiness, with joy, with a space positively positioned above the fray of the everyday. Rogers and Astaire dancing above all, every time they dance, is a sublime activity, for instance, elevating them almost into the realm of surreal bliss, both for them and for the audience. Ironically, the only real joy that can be found in this story is the joy of Vera dating a boy her own age -- what might be considered commonplace in any "normal" context. This story reminds me of a pinball machine, with characters, none of them very thrilled with their lives, bouncing off of each other in a kind of random existential dance. In pinball, the downer is game over, the end of the game. Here, again almost ironically, the end of game is signaled by a pure expression of love at the close.
July 28, 2013
Just wonderful, told with the French languor that allows you to see into the characters that is so rare in American film.
November 30, 2010
Nov 2010 - This is another fantastic work of Assayas. The dialogues and the characters are so real that you just know them personally and the actors help so much. The death is very central but it is never overdramatized. The lapses and chapters are also quite crucial and allow part of the story to take place where there is no narration for it and we don't see it. This of course reminds me of Ozu. From what the name suggests and also the realism of the characters and their relationship, I see a tribute to him. Finally the character of Gabriel (Mathieu Amalric) is fantastic. He has the love, doubt, egoism, superficiality of almost any want to be artist that one can imagine.
May 11, 2009
it started off slow and not very interesting, so the only reason I stuck with it is really that it was directed by olivier assayas. (that's really the only reason I watched it in the first place.) it got better and eventually the characters seemed more interesting. but it never got great or essential or anything.

I've been watching a lot of okay-not-bad-but-not-great movies lately. it's really boring trying to write (and read) reviews when every movie leaves such a vague impression. I've reached that point in my netflix subscription (again) where I'm just not that excited about any of the movies in my queue and am still not all that excited after watching them...
December 24, 2008
The great Mathieu Amalric stars in this hot French drama about literary types, artists, friends, and lovers, all of whom withhold aspects of themselves while desperately trying to connect with each other. Another film that only the French know how to make.
September 7, 2008
Delicate soundtrack. Ali Farka Toure's score for Assayas reminds me of the pieces Shankar did for Satyajit Ray.
January 28, 2008
Superb storytelling by Assayas and some of the best ensemble acting by the finest young actors of their day. Most notably Matthew Almaric as the friend of the ailing writer played by Francois Cluzet. A fine film.
½ December 16, 2007
For reasons that I won't get into here, this tale of adrift late-20, early 30 somethings hits surprisingly close to home. Assayas' decision to shoot the relatively plotless film in 16mm adds to the realism and off-the-cuff nature. As he mentions in the very brief interview, it's the closest he's come to Dogme. The actors (especially Amalric) and the director's elliptical editing style make the film. Unlike more recent American indies, it never goes out of its way to make the characters seem quirky or hopelessly eccentric. Few motivations are clear and fewer plot points are neatly tied up. That will surely turn many viewers away, but for me, it opens the door for a repeat viewing somewhere down the road.
October 21, 2007
A somewhat slow moving but very engaging tale of love and friendship, of life and death, of work and passions. Some crazy but very real characters complete with flaws and limitations. Very well done. Stayed with me well after the final scene.
July 28, 2013
Just wonderful, told with the French languor that allows you to see into the characters that is so rare in American film.
½ April 13, 2011
J'aime beaucoup Mathieu Amalric, mais là, franchement ...
November 30, 2010
Nov 2010 - This is another fantastic work of Assayas. The dialogues and the characters are so real that you just know them personally and the actors help so much. The death is very central but it is never overdramatized. The lapses and chapters are also quite crucial and allow part of the story to take place where there is no narration for it and we don't see it. This of course reminds me of Ozu. From what the name suggests and also the realism of the characters and their relationship, I see a tribute to him. Finally the character of Gabriel (Mathieu Amalric) is fantastic. He has the love, doubt, egoism, superficiality of almost any want to be artist that one can imagine.
May 11, 2009
it started off slow and not very interesting, so the only reason I stuck with it is really that it was directed by olivier assayas. (that's really the only reason I watched it in the first place.) it got better and eventually the characters seemed more interesting. but it never got great or essential or anything.

I've been watching a lot of okay-not-bad-but-not-great movies lately. it's really boring trying to write (and read) reviews when every movie leaves such a vague impression. I've reached that point in my netflix subscription (again) where I'm just not that excited about any of the movies in my queue and am still not all that excited after watching them...
Super Reviewer
February 9, 2009
I see the word "sublime" used in reference to this movie. Sublime is not the word I'd choose here. If anything, I'd place this in the anti-sublime camp. If there is any kind of transcendence in this film -- outside of death, it comes at the very end, where Vera, the 16-year-old ex-lover of the 41-year-old Adrien appears to finally find true happiness with a boyfriend in her own age range. To qualify as sublime, I think a work needs to be rising above the mundane, the quotidian, the commonplace. I associate it with some kind of happiness, with joy, with a space positively positioned above the fray of the everyday. Rogers and Astaire dancing above all, every time they dance, is a sublime activity, for instance, elevating them almost into the realm of surreal bliss, both for them and for the audience. Ironically, the only real joy that can be found in this story is the joy of Vera dating a boy her own age -- what might be considered commonplace in any "normal" context. This story reminds me of a pinball machine, with characters, none of them very thrilled with their lives, bouncing off of each other in a kind of random existential dance. In pinball, the downer is game over, the end of the game. Here, again almost ironically, the end of game is signaled by a pure expression of love at the close.
January 15, 2009
Assayas, the director, tries to grab at the idea of human beings and their relation to themselves, their existences, and other beings, and he captures it by having a deft and loving touch. The plot follows a group of people that are friends and family to some other of the main characters, and the film observes them as they try to relate to others and find some kind of stablity or livelihood or whatever else they need. The cast is perfect in their roles, never overstepping the material and dragging it down into melodrama and the cliche. The film comes in and out of these peoples lives at different moments within about a year and unlike a film like [i]Rachel Getting Married, [/i]which shares in the observational film making, where the characters beings come out in three or so day. This film shows us snippets of their lives and thus showing how they have moved and what they are trying to do with their lives and who they want to be, not necessarily their relationships and the destructive and mending qualities of those relationships. Also, like Woody Allen (minus the fixed characters) the film is very talented in understanding the relationships of these people and seeing how they evolve and it seems completely real because the cast walks that thin line gracefully and because the script looks at the little things but does not try and make them big but simply shows them for what they are and how they can represent someones life.

I really hope this review is not too confusing and wordy (well I know its wordy). But it is a powerful and yet subtle film that deserves studying and a search for purpose because it is so delicately made and makes for amazing cinema. If you can find it, watch it because it is very strong.
December 24, 2008
The great Mathieu Amalric stars in this hot French drama about literary types, artists, friends, and lovers, all of whom withhold aspects of themselves while desperately trying to connect with each other. Another film that only the French know how to make.
October 22, 2008
The sound track is shared between good music playing and amazing sounds of streets. I really enjoyed the dialogues, furthermore when they are said by such actors as Amalric, Balibar or Cluzet.
September 7, 2008
Delicate soundtrack. Ali Farka Toure's score for Assayas reminds me of the pieces Shankar did for Satyajit Ray.
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