How luscious, how apt, that 79-year-old French master Eric Rohmer completes his quartet ”Tales of the Four Seasons” with Autumn Tale — set in the time of harvest, of maturity, that reaps the filmmaker’s wisdom. Bursting with juice, this generous celebration of love takes place in a French vineyard, where Magali (wild-haired Beatrice Romand, some three decades after her performance in Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee), a divorcee with a grown son, longs for a man but can’t find one. Meanwhile, the women who take it upon themselves to help — including Magali’s sophisticated married friend Isabelle (Marie Riviere, from Rohmer’s Summer) — play out their own subconscious sexual scenarios in the course of introducing suitable candidates.
As always, Rohmer treasures the undervalued glories of discourse and the intimacy of conversation over the obviousness of action or sexual display. As always, the filmmaker is as perceptive about relationships among women as between women and men. And as always with Rohmer, the physical world of earth and grapes, cups and dishes, so naturally and seemingly casually photographed, never appears more vibrant or alive to possibility. A