In "Autumn," a coolly stylized drama of discontented killers and philosophical felons in a bluish-gray Paris, Ra'ap McGee pays homage to the kind of French crime thrillers that Jean-Pierre Melville, Henri Verneuil and other Gallic auteurs directed as homages to American film noir classics. Trouble is, something got lost in the homogenization.

In “Autumn,” a coolly stylized drama of discontented killers and philosophical felons in a bluish-gray Paris, New York-born filmmaker Ra’ap McGee pays homage to the kind of French crime thrillers that Jean-Pierre Melville, Henri Verneuil and other Gallic auteurs directed as homages to American film noir classics. Trouble is, something got lost in the homogenization. Francophile film buffs and obsessive deconstructionists might be amused, but less indulgent auds will find derivative pic artificial and mannered. Marquee allure of leads Irene Jacob and up-and-comer Laurent Lucas could generate limited homevid coin after fest exposure.

Glum hit man Jean-Pierre (Lucas) loses enthusiasm for his work during a routine assignment, greatly displeasing elegant mobster-restaurateur Noel (esteemed vet Michel Aumont). While Noel employs an ambitious but unreliable young novice (Dinara Droukarova) to clean up unfinished dirty work, Jean-Pierre seeks a new life by reconnecting with childhood sweetheart Michelle (Jacob), an amateur photog who supplies explosives to underworld types. As the contrived plot plods from one episode to the next, McGee substitutes cryptic dialogue and portentous gesture for recognizably human interaction. Pic overall has the look, depth and emotional impact of a glossy magazine fashion spread.

Autumn

France-U.S.

Production

A Next Week Filmworks production. Produced by Ra'up McGee. Executive producer, Daniel Cheifetz. Directed, written, edited by Ra'up McGee.

Crew

Camera (color), Erin Harvey; music, Cyril Morin; production designer, Rashad Carre. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Discovery), Sept. 15, 2004. French dialogue. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Laurent Lucas, Irene Jacob, Dinara Droukarova, Michel Aumont.
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