One Fine Morning

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Director Mia Hansen-Løve’s biggest box office success ($4.97 million worldwide) was the 2016 release Things to Come starring Isabelle Huppert. Hansen-Løve has always been more of a critic’s darling. Despite her many accolades on the festival circuit, it may surprise some that this is her eighth feature. The filmmaker’s approach is understated, naturalistic, and deeply personal. Her latest fits well within her oeuvre.

One Fine Morning is an account of a widowed mother named Sandra, played by Lea Seydoux. Sandra is a busy gal. She raises a preteen daughter while attending to a sick father (Pascal Greggory). Georg suffers from a neurodegenerative disorder that causes vision and memory loss, so he often gets disoriented. During this period, Sandra also reconnects with a friend she hasn’t seen in a while named Clément (Melvil Poupaud).

The chronicle is an engaging character study of a woman increasingly overwhelmed by life. She balances motherhood, working as a translator, and trying to make the right decisions for her dad. Georg is becoming less and less of the person she remembers. Socializing with a male friend from her past reawakens feelings she had long since suppressed. The approach is very French, mixing sweet, tender family interactions of the aging patriarch with explicit love scenes showcasing her affair.

The French New Wave is a significant influence on Mia Hansen-Løve. Directors François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer, and Claude Chabrol are an inspiration. The performances, especially Léa Seydoux, are quite good. I felt her sadness, so the actress made an impression. The same goes for actor Pascal Greggory who — as her elderly father — effectively coveys an academic, losing his cognitive abilities as the film progresses. He is the heart of the tale. I’m not sure I connected with the melancholy rhythm of the story. The narrative thrust is a like a leisurely-paced stroll without a destination. The ambivalent ending conveys the emotional power of a shrug. “Life happens. Accept it.” However, the portrait does feel authentic and natural. I appreciated that.

One Fine Morning is available to rent on digital streaming (Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Redbox, Google Play, YouTube, ROW8, Vudu, etc.)


2 Responses to “One Fine Morning”

  1. This was too French for me. A bit too somber, but actors were good. 2 1/2 ⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

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