(Conte d'hiver)

Directed by Eric Rohmer. 1992.

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Felicie (Charlotte Véry), another of Eric Rohmer's attractive, smart, but terminally indecisive women is still feeling the effects of the abrupt end to her summer romance five years ago. Having mistakenly given her lover Charles (Frédéric van den Driessche) the wrong address as he was leaving for the U.S., she cannot really love other men and holds onto a strong belief that Charles will one day show up and all will be right with the world. Eric Rohmer's second film in his Four Seasons series, A Tale of Winter, is one of his most engaging romances, a film that like the Shakespeare play of the same name, postulates that passion and strong intention can lead to unexpected results. 

The opening sequence shows Charles and Felicie enjoying the sun, making love, then parting at the end of their vacation. The scene then shifts to Christmas in Paris five years later. Elise (Ava Lorachi), the daughter she had with Charles is now four years old and has seen her father only through photos. Felicie has two lovers but none suit her. Maxence (Michael Voletti) is a heavy set, not too deep hairdresser who is moving from Paris to Nevers and wants Felicie to come with him. She loves being with him but is not madly in love with him. After first saying no, she agrees to go to Nevers but once there, has yet another change of heart after an epiphany about Charles during a visit to a cathedral and returns to her mother in Paris. 

Felicie's other suitor, Loic (Hervé Furic), is a bookish librarian who is obviously crazy about her but whom she just wants as a friend. He is a Catholic intellectual and Felicie is more free-spirited and they engage in typical Rohmerian exchanges about Christianity, reincarnation and the nature of the soul. A new awareness opens up when she visits the theater with Loic to see Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale. When she sees King Leontes bring a statue of his wife to life after being told, ''It is required that you do awake your faith'', her own ability to "awake her faith" is evoked and leads to one of Rohmer's more upbeat and satisfying conclusions. 


Howard Schumann
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