Romance of Astrea and Celadon (2008)
Romance of Astrea and Celadon Photos
Critic Reviews for Romance of Astrea and Celadon
In what he claims will be his final film, 87-year-old Eric Rohmer fashions a serenely daffy coda to a half a lifetime spent behind the camera exploring the vicissitudes of romance.
It's often as fresh and buoyant as [Rohmer's] modern takes on the battle of the sexes.
It is the wisdom, passion, joy and hope with which he invests the film that makes it so terribly moving.
The movie looks and feels exactly how it probably was to make: like a walk in the park.
The nymphs and druids who frolic through The Romance of Astrea and Celadon occupy mythological space between Shakespeare and Greek mythology.
I can't think of another director who would even have tried to make this mythic wonderland come alive, with its impossibly beautiful actors, lush, bucolic scenery and not even the slightest concession to contemporary notions of realism.
Audience Reviews for Romance of Astrea and Celadon
bountiful bucolic beauty; one finds it hard to believe this movie came from rohmer, one of france's best directors, when it feels like a dream(y) highschool r&j-esque play...
Pretty silly stuff, Rohmer adapts a 17th century story set in a mythical 5th century with druids and nymphs and shepherds. The dialogue, acting, and narration give it a kind of theatrical and literary feel, but in a tongue in cheek manner. The male protagonist even pronounces that he will "drown himself at once" upon being spurned by his jealous lover, and does so. Of course no Rohmer film would be complete without plenty of talk about love and related subjects. This is more humorous and erotic than the other Rohmers I've seen, but it lacks the depth of character and emotional poignancy of his better films.
Rohmer has made great films so I was pretty excited to see this one. Celadon & Astrae is an odd film and I don't think it's a great film, but I don't think it's a bad one. Adapting seventeenth-century pastoral tales to the screen may be a far-fetched enterprise at best, but there must be better methods than this. Paradoxically, though the pastoral ideal is about purity and simplicity, recapturing it is likely to require more elaborate methods than this. Rohmer's bare-bones methods worked well for most of his career because the people and their conversations were interesting enough in themselves; the intensity of his own interest made them so. Such methods don't work so well here. The talk in 'The Romance of Astrea and Celadon' is too stilted and dry most of the way to hold much interest. For dyed-in-the-wool Rohmer fans, of course, this mature work is nonetheless required viewing. Newcomers as usual had best go back to 'My Night at Maude's' and 'Claire's Knee' to understand the perennial interest of this quintessentially French filmmaker.
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