Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama,Mystery A Few Days In September

A Few Days In September

A Few Days In September is a film that is a large chunk French, a little bit of American and the director was born in Argentina; so does this blend of nationalities make a good spy drama or what?

Directed by Santiago Amigorena, A Few Days In September follows Irene, the ex colleague of Elliot a former American Secret Service agent and sometime spy who has been missing for a month. She teams with his two children to try and meet up with him and some bankers in regards to some secret information he may be holding. The cast features Juliette Binoche as Irene and Nick Nolte as Elliot, with John Turturro, Tom Riley, and Sara Forestier bringing in the main support.

The film dances between French and English, with the majority of it being in French. The acting is superb, Binoche’s character has some depth and John Turturro as a seemingly psychotic assassin is excellent. Sara Forestier plays one of Elliot’s children and her on-screen presence is an adorable mixture of Summer Glau of Serenity meets Reese Witherspoon.

The film is a mixture of many things as I’ve already mentioned, with the atmosphere being one of moody noir and quirkiness, layered in drama that plays best when not political. The movie involves the sort of “on a need to know basis” plot mechanics, which works great. However, it departs from being a spy thriller and becomes an exploration of Irene and the two young adult children of Elliot’s as they wait for him together and discuss a variety of things. This is where the film begins to lag a great deal and idle conversations about American politics and etc seem too forced and when the romance angle is introduced, well many might turn their noses up at it. I was indifferent to that aspect and think the movie would have worked fine with or without it; ultimately might as well support it staying in. What really kills the film is the plot synopsis found on the Dvd case and online mentioning the attacks of 9/11. I am not ruining it for you by bringing this up, the filmmakers or whoever marketed it have done that for you, but a lot of the mystery and the ending for sure lose all of the impact they could have had if we had just been given the dates of events as flashed on screen without any direct mentioning of 9/11 particularly.

Mainly this film is a drama and not for the same crowd who want to see Mission Impossible 3 type action, A Few Days In September approaches things artsy. However, people have very varying opinions on what is indeed art and I must say that at least one of the out of focus shots in the film lingered way too long; though some of the others work well; be sure the sound is turned up. (Possibly you may want to learn French too)

This movie opens with enough intrigue to keep a viewer hanging on through the slow middle to find out if there is some sort of interesting twist and or how the characters are going to turn out. Actually, John Turturro’s presence is enough to carry that interest. If you are looking for something slow and artsy, mixed with noir flavor and maybe just a bit too much political musing, which is thankfully spread over with some quirky humor, well then check this film out. There may be a guns blazing scene, but it isn’t a guns blazing scene like you may think. The film worked well for me, even with some ruined aspects I still got one jolt near the end; glad I watched it. I’ll use the old saying: “It wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the greatest”, but I’ll always remember the blood drinking kitty.

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