Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|A Few Days in September|
Actors: Juliette Binoche, John Turturro, Nick Nolte, Sara Forestier, Tom Riley
Director: Santiago Amigorena
Genres: Art House & International, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Juliette Binoche, John Turturro and Nick Nolte star in this edge-of-your-seat conspiracy thriller. Ten days before 9/11, Elliott (Nolte), a CIA agent who is holding top secret information on the immediate future of the wo... more »
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A Stylish, Engrossing Tale from the European Front Before Se
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Quelques jours en septembre (A Few Days in September) is an intelligent, classy little film that boasts not only a unique story as written and directed by Argentinean Santiago Amigorena, but a fine cast of both seasoned and fresh young actors who capture our attention and hearts as they progress through Europe on a mission that has a lot to do (in 2001) with September's indelible imprint on the world. It is a film that contains biting humor, black humor, love interests, and bizarre sidebars that make the final moments of the movie all the more troubling.
Irène Montano (Juliette Binoche) is an agent in Paris who is somehow connected to secret intelligence in making a meeting with one CIA agent Elliott (Nick Nolte) who holds top-secret information that could change the world... Irène is instructed by cellphone to look after Elliott's estranged French daughter Orlando (Sara Forestier), who loathes the father that deserted her when her mother died, and Elliot's young son David (Tom Riley) from the US who adores his father and has come to Paris to see him. Various meeting places between Irène (accompanied by Orlando and David) and Elliot are aborted until finally the three are told to travel to Venice for a definite meeting. This all takes place between September 5th and September 10th and it is soon suggested that the elusive Intelligence Service Elliott hold information that will impact the world.
As the three characters progress through the streets and cafés of Paris and of Venice they are stalked by a very odd assassin William Pound (John Turturro) who divides his time among reciting poetry, in cellphone consultations with his psychiatrist, killing people and planning the assassination of Elliott. While Orlando and David are at first at odds, separated by language and by disparate feelings about their shared father, the presence of Irène joins the two in friendship and more while acting as a guide and escort through the dangers that lie constantly before them. It is not until the last few minutes of the film that we actually meet Elliott (Nolte) and in these few minutes not only are there changes that occur in the estranged relationship between Orlando and Elliot, but also rapid fire events that breathlessly lead to the moments before the shattering events of 9/11 in America.
Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne captures all of the allure of Paris and Venice while keeping the focus of the film intense with well-lighted spaces and camera angles. Laurent Martin has found the right mixture of music types to fit the various moods of the film - from amorous to innocent to terror. The film is in both English and French (subtitled in English) and it is refreshing for a groups of actors to move so graciously between the languages. Binoche is in peak form, creating a fascinating woman whose role is so very pivotal to the entire story. John Turturro adds another character role to his repertoire and provides most of the dark humor that peppers the film. Nolte is strong in his small role, but it is the pleasure of watching newcomers Tom Riley and Sara Forrestier, so adroit at being natural, that adds to the success of the movie. While the topic of this film, 9/11, is still difficult to assimilate, this version of how Europe was responding and the suggestion of how our own CIA had prior information make for a seamlessly exciting way of filling in some of the holes that remain to be examined. Strongly recommended on all levels. Grady Harp, September 07"
A Few Days In September - Very Disappointing
Mark | East Coast | 03/31/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
A Few Days In September is one of those movies that many fans of thoughtful foreign films will seek out because of a compelling cast. Unfortunately, most will likely be disappointed. Juliette Binoche and John Turturro cannot save this poorly constructed movie with the stereotypical wooden roles that were written for them. The fact that there is a lack of action has little to do with why this movie is so terrible. I've taken baths deeper than this story. This movie is bad because none of the introspection that fans of spy dramas look for are present in any part of this film. There is nothing deep or thought provoking about this movie. To the characters in this movie, Americans are "dinosaurs" and the Japanese are "weird."
But in addition to being unrealistic, bigoted and cliché, this movie also commits the cardinal sin of film: it's extremely boring. The film-guide on my cable provider described this movie as "terrifying." Perhaps to those who fear boredom, it might be. For everyone else, this may be the cure to insomnia. It took me 4 or 5 viewings to make it all the way through this.
The irony of this film is that the appearance of Nick Nolte is actually a high point here because it adds a little bit of drama and tension to an otherwise uneventful plot. When actors like Binoche and Turturro have significant screen time and the highlight of your film is 5 minutes worth of Nick Nolte, that is not a good thing. No offense is meant to Mr. Nolte, but most of this cast is wasted here.
Ninety percent of the film is comprised of Binoche's character chaperoning Nolte's kids from Paris to Venice to meet their father. Many good things could have been done with that premise, but here it is wasted. Throughout this journey, the kids play asinine patty-cake games with each other and fight over dessert. They are actually young adults that shouldn't be acting so childishly. Binoche's character makes comments about espionage that show just how naïve many people are when it comes to the topic. The fact that so many people are eager to believe such formulaic and stereotypical conspiracy theories is only part of the problem. This movie leaves real issues and plausible conspiracies completely un-touched.
**** MILD SPOILERS AHEAD ****
Nolte has information that is supposed to be worth tons of money to the powers that be. But the way it is portrayed in the movie isn't effective as fiction because it shows none of the understanding of finance needed to profit from such information. It's just one of those plot points that is meant to be swallowed hole without asking any questions. Never mind that there is absolutely no reason for anybody to pay him anything for that information, much less the windfall sums mentioned here. He has absolutely no leverage in the event they don't pay for the information he has already shared.
They also expect you to believe that people involved in the dangerous world of international espionage would be relaxing in a café waxing poetic while secret agents are fresh on their tail trying to kill them. They expose themselves outdoors and near curtain-less windows, just in case a sniper wants to take them out. Why take cover after all? These people are supposed to be the elite of the spy world? Some of them also love to hang around the scene of the crime reciting poetry after they have committed murders. Why not give the authorities more time to apprehend you after a crime? Some would have you believe that these ridiculous plot points give the movie charm. Actually they just make a terrible story even more ridiculous.
John Turturro's French is recited in a memorized way that seems to prevent him from actually acting. He throws some unnecessary Italian in too for good measure. They would have been better off having him deliver all his lines in English. His multi-lingual character portrayal is not convincing and adds little to the performance.
His character is almost as annoying as Binoche's. She is such a highly trained double agent, in fact, that she spills the beans on all kinds of classified information to people she barely knows who are not likely to keep a secret. She claims to have been a *spy teacher* who has worked for many countries. Yet she frequently holds sensitive conversations from unsecured cell phones. None of this rings true . These are the kinds of stories people tell you before they ask you to borrow $5. She is a great actress and delivers all her lines with authority, including French, English and Arabic dialogue. But almost universally, the lines she has to deliver seem to be in desperate need of re-writes.
The high quality camera work and breath-taking locations are the only saving graces to this movie, but neither of those things can distract the viewer from the fact that there is barely enough content here for a short story, much less a feature length movie.
This film fails on almost every level. Please don't subject yourself to this unless you love 9/11 conspiracy theories and bigotry against Americans, the Japanese and others. If this is really how people perceive the intelligence community, it bodes very badly for the future of international relations. Some great actors do their best to portray some cookie-cutter characters. But this isn't enjoyable as a movie for it's own sake, nor is it good for those looking for spy thrillers with layers of subtext. From the surface straight on down, this movie is shallow and uninspired. Take those few hours of your life and invest them in reading anything by John LeCarre instead. I've given up 4 or 5 hours of my life to this movie that I will never get back.
If you're having trouble sleeping, then check this out. If you are literally being paid to watch it, then by all means do what you have to in order to pay your bills. It seems likely that under-the-table compensation explains at least some of the praise that this train wreck has received. But for everyone else, stay as far away from this movie as possible.
Waste of cinematography
A. Oguz | Schaumburg, IL United States | 12/26/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This year especially, I got what I thought were good gems of movies, with good actors, plot and shooting. But, what I ended up with were duds. This one is one of those.
Once you start watching the movie, you know exactly what is going to happen, but have to go through the torture of getting there.. not that much happens. There is tension created out of thin air, there is somewhat of a plot line, and all the good acting is wasted on a total that is not there. It is as if the French create these movies to mock the Americans.
Also, there are no subtitles in English part of the dialogue, so if you are hard of hearing, tough luck!
I would consider this movie to be a "poser", nothing more, especially on a subject as significant as 9/11.
What a waste.."