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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, September 22, 2014 - Edition No 915 
Reckoning

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FOUR SEASONS, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
The Burroughs, the Callans and the Zimmers are three 40-something couples who meet four times a year for a group vacation. There's Jack (Alan Alda) and Kate (Carol Burnett), Danny (Jack Weston) and Claudia (Rita Moren) and Nick (Len Cariou) and his Anne (Sandy Dennis), who celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary before Nick dumps her for the much younger Bess (Ginny Armstrong).

Review by Louise Keller:
As the title suggests, the musical backdrop to which Alan Alda's directing debut is set is Vivaldi's glorious Four Seasons. We meet three couples during each of the four seasons, and while there is no storyline as such, the film canvasses the individual and joint relationships of each. We are the fly-on-the-wall for much of the time, although the final melodramatic chapter leaves us a little dissatisfied.

When we meet this close knit group of friends, we sense their familiarity with each other. It is winter; they laugh and joke as they share meals and recall how they all met. There are bike rides, walks and an impromptu dip in the chilly lake. 'To be with friends sipping wine - this is what it is to be happy,' says Alda's Jack. But there is also the rumble of dissention, when Len Cariou's Nick confides in Jack his marriage to Anne (Sandy Dennis) is over. Then it is summer and the group is sailing (in close quarters) around beautiful St Thomas in the glorious Caribbean. The atmosphere is different. Nick's new attractive girlfriend Bess (Ginny Armstrong), who wears a new bikini every day, prompts a mix of lows and highs as resentment, jealousies and frustrations take hold. These two sections are my favourites; the relationships and issues discussed feel totally honest.

The fall segment at the reunion at their daughters' Connecticut school canvasses the awkwardness when Anne and Bess finally meet. Tensions mount and I love the moment when Carol Burnett's Kate talks to her husband about the realities of 'being married to a middle aged woman with a good sense of humour and dry skin.' The film is essentially a pleasant one, as we spend time with this endearing group, all the while listening to Vivaldi's classic work.

Published December 13, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FOUR SEASONS, THE: DVD (M)
(US, 1981)

CAST: Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno, Jack Weston, Bess Armstrong, Elizabeth Alda, Beatrice Alda

PRODUCER: Martin Bregman

DIRECTOR: Alan Alda

SCRIPT: Alan Alda

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Victor J. Kemper

EDITOR: Michael Economou

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jack T. Collis

RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 5, 2007







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