Autumn Spring

Reviewed By Elaine Perrone
Posted 07/17/04 08:29:41

"Bittersweet tribute to a beloved Czech legend"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

In the delightful Czech comedy, Autumn Spring, Fanda (the late Vlastimil Brodský) is a 78-year old retired opera chorister who loves nothing more in life than to play make believe.

While his more practical-minded wife Emilie (Stella Zázvorková) stays at home writing her own obituary and hoarding money to pay for their funerals, Fanda and his buddy Eda (Stanislav Zindulka) pose as the director of an opera company and his agent shopping for a sumptuous villa, which Fanda waves off as being "too shabby" for him. While his son Jara (Ondrej Vetchý) makes plans to move his parents into a retirement home so that he can settle one of his many ex-wives and his children into their apartment, Fanda and Eda masquerade as transit inspectors, corralling two young women who have boarded without paying and convincing the pair they will waive their fines in exchange for kisses.

Brodský was a lovely actor with a wonderful sense of comic timing and the ability to mug beautifully with his own expressive features or using a flower as a shower over his head and a telephone to his ear. He suffered a debilitating stroke but recovered enough to film this, his final movie. Sadly, he committed suicide shortly after its release.

The film's final scene is a sweet and fitting tribute to this beloved Czech actor.

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