A Tale of Winter
Posted by martinteller on July 21, 2012
Félicie (Charlotte Véry) is a hairdresser torn between two men: her boss Maxence (Michel Voletti) and an intellectual bookseller Loic (Hervé Furic). But she is unable to commit to either because the man she truly loves is Charles, the father of her child. A summer fling from five years prior, she lost touch with him but openly yearns for him, believing him to be her soulmate. With Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale” fresh in her mind, she begins to hope for his “reincarnation.”
I like Rohmer well enough, but he almost never strikes a deep chord within me. Although I can’t say his simplistic cinematic style is all that different from what Kieslowski does in Decalogue, it’s still frustratingly ordinary to me. Most of his films rely primarily on how much I appreciate the dialogue and the characters. Here I found Félicie somewhat interesting, but not incredibly so… certainly not as much as Delphine in The Green Ray. To be honest, I didn’t like her at all, which wouldn’t necessarily be an issue but I felt like Rohmer was trying to reward her (or idealize her) for her steadfast devotion to a ghost from the past. But it does make her a more complex, ambiguous character. I can’t help thinking that given a few more months, she would find a relationship with Charles just as incomplete and unsatisfying as those with Maxence and Loic. Perhaps this is the point? Even if it isn’t, that’s what I took away from it. And I’m glad to take away something, intended or not.
The actors — Véry in particular — are quite good with subtle body language and handling dialogue that is often rather weighty. Félicie and Loic’s philosophical conversations don’t have the ring of authenticity seen in My Night at Maud’s but there are a few nice insights. Overall the film was kind of a wash for me… it feels rather long for what it is and not all that substantial, but there are some aspects of it I could get into. Rating: Good (72)