Life & Culture

Film review: One Fine Morning - Heartbreak of a daughter

Outstanding piece of filmmaking tells poignant story of a woman attempting to navigate life after a huge loss


One Fine Morning
Cert: 15 A | ★★★★✩

Award-winning French director Mia Hansen-Løve returns with this poignant story about a woman attempting to navigate life after a huge loss.

One Fine Morning features a stellar performance from Bond star and darling of French cinema Léa Seydoux as Sandra, a widowed single mother in the midst of a crisis.

In addition to a fruitful career as an interpreter in German and English, the young woman is seemingly the main caregiver for her ailing father George — depicted perfectly by acclaimed French actor Pascal Greggory — a once-prominent philosophy professor now suffering from a debilitating neurodegenerative disease.

As she struggles to find a suitable nursing home for George, Sandra runs into Clement (Melvil Poupaud), a married friend of her late husband’s.

They embark on an illicit affair. As Clement grapples with the guilt over his burgeoning relationship with Sandra, the two find themselves unsure of their next move even after Clement moves in with her and her young son, leaving his own family behind.

There is something refreshingly honest and non-judgmental about Hansen-Løve’s film. Her ability to write such evidently fallible, yet hugely sympathetic characters, is what makes her one of the best filmmakers of her generations.

By refusing to demonise her characters’ actions, be it Clement’s extramarital indiscretion or Sandra’s frustration at her father’s predicament, Hansen-Løve is able to present a smart and sophisticated social dilemma elevated by ingenious writing.

Seydoux, who has always shone in these types of roles, here manages another disarmingly natural performance as a woman who knows exactly what she wants from life and isn’t afraid of asking for it.

One Fine Morning is a quietly heartbreaking example of its director’s ability to create amazing stories and complex characters. Another outstanding piece of filmmaking from the director of Things To Come and Bergman Island.

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