Conte d'été

The third, sunniest and funniest of Rohmer’s seasonal tales.  Rohmer is without equal as the writer-director of movies set during holidays: his first feature ‘The Sign of Leo’ was a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of opting for an idle life in a Paris depopulated for the summer, and the time-off motif has turned up in nine or ten of his subsequent movies. Holidays clearly appeal to Rohmer for several reasons. They allow extra time and opportunities for talk, for encounters with strangers, for relaxation and escape from restrictive habit or responsibility; for romance, rumination and reversals of fortune; for dilemmas and indecision. Here, a moody young student (Melvil Poupaud) holidaying alone in Brittany is torn between three beauties (Aurélia Nolin, Amanda Langlet and Gwenaëlle Simon). As this wonderfully witty comedy proceeds from scenes of such apparent inconsequentiality that they feel like documentary to plotting as suspenseful and manipulative as classical farce, Rohmer provides insights aplenty into matters of love, friendship, fidelity, loneliness, luck, destiny and desire. If it all appears artless, look again at the amazingly lengthy travelling shots along the beach and over the clifftops as the characters walk, pouring out feelings and thoughts; at the subtle play of time, place and music; or at the final act’s editing, as precise, sharp and tight as a man-trap. Truly great art seldom feels a need to draw attention to itself.

Release details

Rated: U
Release date: Friday July 29 2005
Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Eric Rohmer
Screenwriter: Eric Rohmer
Cast: Melvil Poupaud
Aurélia Nolin
Amanda Langlet
Gwenaëlle Simon
Aimé Lefèvre
Alain Guellaff
Evelyne Lahana

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Robert Pruter

This is the second best of the four seasons films, next to A Tale of Winter, which atypically Rohmer is a bit more plot driven, rather than character driven.

Robert Pruter

This is the second best of the four seasons films, next to A Tale of Winter, which atypically Rohmer is a bit more plot driven, rather than character driven.