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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Le Premier Jour du Reste de ta Vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life)


This is that type of movie that as you continue watching totally grows into you, as slowly not only develops the story but also takes you inside the story to become, in this case, another member of the family. In the beginning I kept on wondering -what is this? as “nothing” was happening in the screen. But started to notice that this movie is about milestones in regular/normal lives and the little/big dramas of everyday life, that’s when the movie began to totally captivate me.

There are not many movies about normal families (against that many about dysfunctional families) so this movie looks and feels like a fresh breeze that makes you feel real good, as probably you will be able to see you and/or your family members in this film. Well, you don’t have to be literal as this is a very French family, but all that’s is told is very international like the day your eldest son (or brother) leaves home to live alone, the time you (or your sister) believe she was in love and had sex for the first time, when a grandparent dies, the first sibling to marry, when your father (or husband) dies, etc.

But what amazed me more about this Rémi Bezançon film he wrote and directed is that this light drama has -especially in the beginning- the peculiar French humor and made me laugh quite often. That’s highly unusual, as I do not like French humor… even less than American humor, lol! But the story/movie is so nice and sweet that totally relaxes you and allows you to highly enjoy the ride. That does not mean that this film is sugary, not at all as there are some moments quite dramatic.

When watching the movie I also was wondering why this movie is nominated for the top Cesar award; but as soon as was over I totally understood. It is outstanding how a common/normal story could make you feel emotions and this is only possible with an excellent and out of the ordinary storyteller and actors’ outstanding performances. Definitively this movie has in Bezançon a remarkable storyteller that was able to transform a well-traveled story into an emotional and entertaining film, plus a cast of not known to me actors that all are highly credible and remarkable in whatever they do in the screen.

Just check the post of the César Award and you will find that the complete Duval family (except the mother and many are “upset” for her not being nominated) is nominated for an actor award, as well as the director and film. Unfortunately my vote for best actor goes to Vincent Cassel (up-to date) and I still have to see a few more movies to cast my vote for supporting roles and newcomers; but I particularly liked Marc-André Grondin (Raphaël the family middle child) performance and probably he will get my vote.

Not a masterpiece but an excellent and different “make you feel good” film that definitively is not common in French cinema and I highly recommend to those that know and like this country cinema, as we do not have to forget that definitively France has a particular (great) film style that this movie totally has. It is worth to mention that this unusual film has a clear beginning and end, plus you do not have to fill any gaps or think a lot about what you’re seeing, which absolutely makes it more accessible to international audiences.

Enjoy!!!

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