Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: Les Amours D’Astree et de Celadon
France/Italy/Spain, 2007. Rezo Productions, Compagnie Eric Rohmer, BIM Distribuzione, Alta Produccion, Eurimages, Cinemage, Soficinema 2, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Cofinova 2, Cofinova 3. Adaptation by Eric Rohmer, based on the novel L’Astree by Honore D’Urfe. Cinematography by Diane Baratier. Produced by Francoise Etchegaray. Music by Jean-Louis Valéro. Production Design by Marie Dos Santos, Jerome Pouvaret. Costume Design by Pierre-Jean Larroque, Pu-Lai. Film Editing by Mary Stephen. Toronto International Film Festival 2007.
Eric Rohmer’s final film looks to a sixteenth century source for a familiar fairy tale of love thwarted. Set in a bucolic countryside populated by shepherds and touched by enchantment, it tells of a young man who loves a young woman, but when she believes him to have been untrue with another she rejects him. He throws himself into the river but, instead of drowning, is rescued by nymphs who nurse him back to health. The pure-hearted simplicity of Rohmer’s best films doesn’t keep you riveted to the screen here; the actors are terrific, fully committed to the human types they are playing without a shred of irony, but the beautiful settings and lovely costumes do nothing to make it memorable and it’s something of a chore to sit through. Die hard devotees of the great auteur will probably like it more than others.