One Fine Morning (2022)

One Fine Morning (2022)

Léa Seydoux gives an extraordinarily moving performance in this understated French drama about love, loss, and life

The Very Best

8.5

Movie

France, Germany
English, French, German
Drama, Romance
2022
FEMALE DIRECTOR, MIA HANSEN-LØVE
Elsa Guedj, Fejria Deliba, Léa Seydoux
113 min

What it's about

With a father suffering from neurodegenerative disease, a young woman lives with her eight-year-old daughter. While struggling to secure a decent nursing home, she runs into an unavailable friend with whom she embarks on an affair.

The take

French director Mia Hansen-Løve is a master at gently capturing the full bittersweetness of life, and that’s no more evident than in One Fine Morning. Léa Seydoux gives a quietly powerful performance as Sandra, a mother-of-one who is grappling with the slow, devastating decline of her philosophy professor father at the hands of a neurodegenerative disease. As she deals with the crushing trauma of watching her father deteriorate — and the logistical stress of getting him the care he needs — life grants her an oasis through a chance meeting with an old acquaintance (Clément, played by Melvil Poupaud). Despite Clément being married, the two are hurled into a passionate romance, one that re-ignites something in Sandra she thought she’d lost forever.

What’s so remarkable about One Fine Morning is its gentle empathy: Hansen-Løve appreciates that, in the context of Sandra’s life, her affair with Clément is something life-affirming and vital, worthy of sensitive consideration rather than easy judgment or melodrama. What’s more, One Fine Morning extends that thoughtful attention to the other people around Sandra, with digressions that recognize the fullness and complexity of their lives, too. This is a film that overflows with compassion and curiosity for everyone in its frame, and one that has a contagiously heart-expanding effect on its audiences. 

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