Autumn Sun

on January 31, 1997 by Christine James
This unconventional and touching love story set in Buenos Aires stars "The Official Story's" Norma Aleandro as Clara Goldstein, a middle-aged Jewish woman who places a personal ad to meet a gentleman of her own faith. The only respondent ("Men With Guns'" Federico Luppi) claims to be one Saul Levin (in order to meet the main criterion of the ad), but he accidentally reveals his deception within the first few minutes of their meeting by mispronouncing a common Yiddish word. Upon being discovered, he confesses that his real name is Raul Ferraro, and Clara abruptly ends their date. Could potential true love be so easily thwarted? It turns out Clara's goal is not romance: she merely needs someone to play the part of a fiance she's invented to placate her old-fashioned brother. Now that this brother is coming for a visit, she must materialize the fictional Jack Kleinman, whom she has over time increasingly fantasized into the perfect man. As no other eligible bachelors have responded to the ad, Raul will have to do. Clara begins tutoring him in Jewish customs, but what was meant to be a businesslike arrangement is complicated by burgeoning mutual affection.
"Autumn Sun" boasts moving performances by Aleandro and Luppi, whose intelligent, warm, lonely characters are portrayed poignantly and with stirring depth, realism and vulnerability. The script, refreshingly, doesn't map out a perfect storybook romance: Her passion is old Hollywood movies and Bogart, which she hopefully asks if he shares, but he doesn't; she imagines scenarios in which he acts like the perfect man, but they don't actually happen. Nevertheless, hearteningly, something deeper draws them together, and draws the viewer in. Starring Norma Aleandro and Federico Luppi. Directed and produced by Eduardo Mignogna. Written by Eduardo Mignogna & Santiago Carlos Oves. A Capitol release. Romance/drama. Spanish-language; subtitled. Not rated. Running time: 105 min.
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