The day after Gardens in Autumn screened for the New York Film Festival press, I overheard one critic call it the most disappointing film of the fest thus far. The first thought that popped into my mind was, "Thank God, I wasn't the only one who felt that way." Even more upsetting was the fact that it certainly had potential, but instead of spending more time on character and story, it appeared director Otar Iosseliani (Monday Morning) figured his wonderful cast would make us forget about all those other (dare I say, important) ingredients.
Séverin Blanchet plays Vincent, a Minister of something (I think Agriculture, though we're never told) who's forced to resign from office amid widespread protests on the streets of Paris. For a very brief amount of time (maybe the first 15 minutes or so) we're introduced to his very comfortable world, complete with beautiful mistress, gigantic mansion and luxuries that only folks in a position of political power can enjoy. However, in a flash all of that is snatched away from Vincent (once again, we're not told why), and he's forced to settle into life as a common man.