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aka - Quelques Jours En Septembre
France / Italy 2006
Directed by
Santiago Amigorena
111 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Few Days In September, A

A Few Days in September is the sort of film that leaves you asking questions, the principal being why was this even made?

The story involves spy-coach, Irene (Juliette Binoche), and a gaggle of bad-eggs including Arab financiers and a hired assassin (John Turturro) searching for spy-master Elliot (Nick Nolte). In tow she has Elliot's adult kids, American David (Tom Riley) and Frenchman Orlando (Sara Forestier), the offspring of separate marriages.

Amigorena is a prolific Argentinian scriptwriter having his first shot at directing. This is somewhat surprising news for if the directing is banal and clichéd, the script is a disaster. The combination of spy thriller and family drama is little short of ridiculous with Binoche, part 007 and part Mother Hen to her master's two extremely immature children is also a kind of sex-starved party girl manqué. Then there's the poetry-spouting killer on their trail who regularly rings his Lacanian shrink to discuss his progress (think Grosse Pointe Blank meets Diva).

The director presumably intended to make some kind of cult thriller but what he ended up with is a pretentious, incoherent mess. What Binoche, Nolte and Tuturro are doing in this defies understanding let alone where the money came from to make what was evidently not a cheap film. Much of this is offensively time-wasting but it is when Nick Nolte enters for his five minutes of screen time that the film truly hits rock bottom with one of the most ham-fisted dying scenes to have been seen in living memory. Amigorena's script is full of extended passages of supposedly clever but in reality implausible dialogue particularly between the obnoxious half-siblings. whilst the attempt to link the fictional action to the real 9/11 attacks is completely wrong-headed.

With so much purported talent involved here it is a mystery how the result could be so absolutely awful.




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