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also known as Conte d'hiver

A Tale of Winter1992

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  • 4.1
Eric Rohmer was unsurpassed at creating intelligent romantic comedies and intelligent female characters. A TALE OF WINTER, one of his most genial and audacious films, is a superb example of both facets. With Rohmer's characteristic delight in surprise and paradox, winter, not spring, is seen as the season of rebirth and renewal, and its tale begins on a sunny beach. A young couple, Félicie and Charles, meet while on holiday and fall deeply in love. In a fatal slip, she gives him the wrong address and, as a result, he disappears from her life. Five years later, at Christmas time, Félicie is a hairdresser in the Paris suburbs with a daughter (Charles') and two lovers: the successful Maxence and the intellectual Loïc. She loves them both but, as she says, "There's love... and love," and the love that counts is the one she still holds for the long lost Charles. Félicie is one of the most fascinating in Rohmer's distinguished line of heroines: impulsive, independent, thoughtlessly frank, disarmingly sincere, at once exasperating and enchanting. The plot centers on Félicie's shifting allegiances to the three men in her life, with an abortive move to another city, a strange experience in the cathedral of Nevers, and a performance of William Shakespeare's "The Winter Tale" among the stations on a roundabout journey that finally brings her face to face with the most basic issues of destiny and faith.

Member Reviews (11)

top reviewer

This film will test you for your capacity to believe in the unbelievable, and tell how jaded, or how much of a cockeyed optimist you are. The film maker proposes that destiny, fate and true love are real, wants us to ponder this through reincarnation and the eternal soul. It is very difficult to engage the main character, Félicie -- The irony is, the film gives her many opportunities to express her inner thoughts, and tell us who she really is. I'm sorry, Mr. Rohmer, I just couldn't understand her. Especially since the main flaw and inconsistency in the film lies in the fact that you expect us to believe she gave the man she loves the wrong town in her address by mistake?! And then five years later ... ?! So it's hard to believe in the soul theory in this case, though it may really hold otherwise! As for the aesthetics in the film: from start to the end, and in spite of how it turns out, the colors, decor, scenes, supporting characters ... are about as drab and dreary as I've scene in any film. Wow, so disappointed, but I rated this with 2 stars for all my cockeyed optimism.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

A lovely, mildly amusing movie strictly in the Rohmer vein. Idyllic at the start, followed by the post-idyllic in search of the idyllic once more, the movie intensifies across a couple of affairs and culminates in an almost sugar-sweet ending that perhaps only Rohmer could have made palatable, seasoned as it all is with lots of French talk.

top reviewer

Eric Rohmer's A Tale of Winter is a beautifully buoyant film, both intellectually challenging and rapturously romantic. Rohmer once again, with subtlety, captures the nuances of love, relationships and all that comes with the aforementioned, like no other.

top reviewer

This is a very unlikely, yet compelling drama about a young woman who gets pregnant during a fling on summer vacation. Since she absent mindedly gives her vacation lover the wrong address for herself back in the big city, they fail to reconnect. Yet, the woman has her baby and pines for years for the return of her vacation lover, all the while engaging in a couple of loveless relationships, and having everyone telling her that she's crazy to keep believing that she will ever reconnect with her long ago summer vacation fling. But, Yep, you guessed it !!!, She accidentally runs into her vacation fling lover of years past on a city bus, and they reunite to LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Kind of a corny story, but is well detailed in a good screenplay, and excellent acting by the whole cast, and great direction turns this film into a semi-believable, engaging, and very entertaining film. This film is worth viewing if only because the story is so unique, and even fairy tale like. Yet, at the same time, this film gives you the feeling that it's a story that you have heard many times in the past. I think they call it deja vu.

top reviewer

If you love French cinema, Woody Allen movies and long dialogs you will enjoy this sweet romantic film.

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top reviewer

I'm a sucker for a great love story, but what was really great was her realization while watching the Shakespeare play and the ability to hold out for the true happiness that she believed in. Deep.

Simple and great.

The complexity of Rohmer's characters is what always shines in his films. Félicie, like most women in Rohmer's films, is cynical and unapologetic. What keeps the interest in this story is to see how far this woman can get in her try to settle down, while constantly reminding her absent lover. Rohmer directs every scene putting a lot of emphasis to body lenguage and its importance to what the chacacter really stands for, for instance, in an argument with Maxence, Félicie tells him that she doesn't want to be touched by him, but she approaches him in a friendly manner whenever she feels like it. A brilliant and simple way of portraying an unstable and selfish character.

Overall, it's a good film. I enjoyed A Summer's Tale much more.

Excellent movie.


Loved it!