Gardens in Autumn

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Year: 2007
Rating: 4.5
Country: France

If this passes for French irony and satire I expect I could go a long time without another piece of it. The charms of this film eluded me like a dying quail. Fanciful and absurd to a fault, this presents a fable of the transitory illusion of power in modern day France but it is so haphazard and jumbled that I soon lost patience with it. Vincent is a Minister of Culture and spends his time accepting tacky gifts from his constituents and berating his mistress for buying expensive even tackier statues. In his office resides a group of nameless flunkies that come and go with pointless papers to sign. As well as a tame leopard that lies about waiting to be petted. Vincent is blamed for some large protests and without much remorse hands in his resignation. Now a free man, he spends the next few days drinking, getting shit dumped on him, talking with his elderly mother (played by actor Michel Piccoli for some odd reason) and consorting with prostitutes and old mistresses. It is all done though with no particular narrative drive – just odd whimsical lazy shaggy dog sketches that add up to nothing as far as I could see.

Written in Nov 2007