Olivier AssayasFrance111 minutes1998ColourFrench
Set over the course of a year, Late August, Early September explores the fragile relationships amongst a group of friends as they struggle to adjust to adulthood. Book editor Gabriel (Mathieu Almaric), who has just broken up with his ex-partner (Jeanne Balibar), finds himself in a tumultuous relationship with a new girlfriend (Virginie Ledoyen). When his best friend (François Cluzet), a promising yet underachieving novelist, discovers he has a life-threatening illness, Gabriel is forced to confront his own emotional immaturity. Working with a stellar ensemble cast (which is rounded out by Alex Descas, Arsinée Khanjian, Nathalie Richard and future filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve), Assayas observes his characters with both great sensitivity and acute, penetrating insight. "Assayas' sense of how relationships evolve between people over time is conveyed with a rich and vivid novelistic density" (Jonathan Rosenbaum).