Courtesy, Sony Pictures Classics

Movie Review: One Fine Morning

07:00 March 09, 2023
By: David Vicari

One Fine Morning is a French drama about losing someone who is still alive. Léa Seydoux stars as Sandra, a single mom of an eight-year-old daughter. She is also struggling to care for her elderly father (Pascal Greggory), who has a neurodegenerative disease. Sandra has support from her family as they try to secure a suitable nursing home for the old man - a place that will give him good care, but which is also close by for constant visits.

This is far from a typical Hollywood melodrama as the performances are realistic and the tone of the film is low-key. Seydoux's performance is never flashy, but it feels real and is quite emotional. Her character's father is no longer himself and this is devastating to Sandra. The strongest moments are quiet scenes of Sandra talking with her dad, with him not remembering who she is, or the fact that his failing eyesight is in an advances state.

Against her better judgment, however, Sandra begins an affair with a married friend, Clement (Melvil Poupaud). This affair subplot is also handled well. Clement keeps going back and forth about whether or not he is going to leave his wife for Sandra. What complicates it for him is that he has a young son.

The movie is directed with a sensitive hand by Mia Hansen-Løve. She is also responsible for the screenplay, which is partly inspired by her own father's illness. Through art, she was trying to make sense of the feelings she was going through as her parent was slowly slipping away.

One Fine Morning wasn't an easy film for me to watch, not because it's a bad film or anything. It's actually very good. It just hit very close to home for me because I had cared from my mother and watched the horrible dementia take hold of her.

Yes, the film does deal with depressing subject matter, but it does - and not in an offensive or sappy way - whisper about healing and rebirth.

Sign Up!