Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Rohmer’s ‘A Summer’s Tale’ a warm trip back in time
Review » Young love plays out in restored 1996 French drama.
First Published Aug 07 2014 04:14 pm • Last Updated Aug 07 2014 09:11 pm

The late French director Eric Rohmer’s 1996 film "A Summer’s Tale," never released in U.S. theaters before now, is a sunny vacation to two destinations: the gorgeous beaches of Brittany and the magical time in young adulthood when all things — particularly in love — seem possible.

Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud) is 23, just graduated from college with a math degree, interested in writing music and about to take his first job with an engineering firm in Nantes. He also has a sort-of girlfriend, Lena (Aurelia Nolin), who has promised to meet him in Dinard, a town on the Brittany coast in northwest France.

At a glance

HHHH

‘A Summer’s Tale’

Eric Rohmer’s 1996 drama of a college grad’s search for beach romance, opening in America for the first time, is a sunny delight.

Where » Broadway Centre Cinemas.

When » Opens Friday, Aug. 8.

Rating » Not rated, but probably PG for mild kissing.

Running time » 114 minutes; in French with subtitles.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

While Gaspard waits for Lena to arrive, he strikes up a friendship with Margot (Amanda Langlet), an ethnology student working as a waitress. Margot has an archaeologist boyfriend who’s abroad, so she cautiously puts Gaspard in the "friend zone," though they’re more attracted to each other than either will admit.

But when Margot introduces the socially awkward Gaspard to Solene (Gwenaëlle Simon), another young vacationer who takes a shine to him, the lad is in a dilemma. He says he wants to wait for Lena, but she’s days late for their scheduled rendezvous, so he considers a summer fling with Solene. Just as he does, Lena finally appears.

For all of Gaspard’s dithering about Lena or Solene, it’s Margot with whom he has the most rapport. Their regular walks along the beach or exploring the town are filled with engaging conversations — many of them considering the age-old question of whether men and women can ever just be friends.

Poupaud (who starred last year as a burgeoning transsexual in Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s masterful drama "Laurence Anyways") is compelling as Gaspard, who navigates from brooding musician to gawky chick magnet to sensitive guy with subtle charm. Standing out among the women is Langlet, whose unassuming beauty quietly shines through. (Langlet filmed "A Summer’s Tale" 13 years after playing the teen lead in Rohmer’s 1983 drama "Pauline at the Beach.")

Rohmer, who died in 2010, made "A Summer’s Tale" as part of his "Four Seasons" series in the ’90s. This one perfectly captures the promise of summer love, of flings that may not lead anywhere and probably weren’t supposed to, practiced by young people who believe everything good lies ahead of them. Seeing "A Summer’s Tale" now is like joining them on this vacation, taking in the warmth of the sun and the glow of young romance.

movies@sltrib.com

Twitter: @moviecricket




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.