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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: On a winding mountain road, Vittorio gallantly helps Kate with her stalled car, and without a single word exchanged, speeds off. Later in town, he learns that Kate has returned to join her family's traveling circus after leaving under mysterious conditions many years ago. Intrigued by her story, Vittorio stays for the show, and the next one, and little by little, is ingratiated into the circus and the lives of its performers - all the while trying to discover the secret that led to Kate's sudden departure. (Cinema Guild) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 90
    At under 90 minutes, Around a Small Mountain is, by Mr. Rivette’s standards, a small vignette. It could have been —--and perhaps was -- part of something longer and more complex, but it stands as perfectly on its own as Pic St.-Loup, marvelous to contemplate and changing slightly every time you see it.
  2. 70
    This 2009 feature is as precious as it sounds but also irresistibly charming. If you’re a newcomer to the oeuvre of New Wave hero Jacques Rivette, this is a highly accessible port of entry.
  3. 70
    It's all slight enough to blow away, and rare enough to warrant seeing it before it does.
  4. Reviewed by: Boyd Van Hoeij
    50
    Will interest Rivette admirers at fests and in the niche arena but will do nothing to broaden his appeal.
  5. 50
    If you want an introduction to the director's work, you're better off with "La Belle Noiseuse" (1991) and his masterpiece, "Celine and Julie Go Boating" (1974).
  6. Never is the material excited into the kind of playful uncertainty that Rivette all but trademarked; the inertness of the performances robs the movie of spirit.
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