We would tend to classify this new opus in the fringe of works with more serious tones by François Ozon, a filmmaker as prolific as he is eclectic. Despite the topic covered in Everything went well — help to die with dignity —, the director of Vase and of Thanks to God does not hesitate to also go there with touches of humor, just to avoid any sentimentality.
Posted at 11:30 a.m.
This feature film, launched last year at the Cannes Film Festival (where it was in the running for the Palme d’Or), is the film adaptation of a book that Emmanuèle Bernheim published in 2013 (four years before her death ). The latter, who, in addition to being a friend of the filmmaker, collaborated on the scripts of the director ofSummer 85 four times (notably that of swimming pool), recounted the end of his father’s life.
The story is built around a request that a diminished man makes to his daughter. Forced to explore areas that we usually prefer not to frequent, the latter must face a dilemma.
After having had a stroke, André Bernheim (André Dussollier), an 85-year-old man much appreciated by the cultural community, is only a shadow of himself. So he asks his daughter Emmanuèle (Sophie Marceau) — and not Pascale, his other daughter — to “help him die”. The latter rejects this idea out of hand at first, but then we explore the gradual acceptance of this option, and how to go about making it happen.
Because of the laws put in place in France at the time when the story is set, dying with dignity often means having to organize your end of life in a clinic in Switzerland. And in the case of the story told in this film, to be involved in spite of oneself in a quasi-detective intrigue.
The strength of Everything went well lies in the family portrait drawn by François Ozon, thus favoring the psychological aspect rather than the medical aspect. The dynamic between the two sisters (Géraldine Pailhas embodies the one from whom the father did not ask anything), united despite some disagreements, is illustrated very accurately. Sophie Marceau, rarer on screens in recent years, delivers a vibrant performance, devoid of any sentimentality. Her role was also really not easy to take on, insofar as her character personifies the one who really lived this story.
We will also remember the strong presence of Charlotte Rampling, so moving 20 years ago in under the sand. The actress plays this time a wife and mother whose heart has ended up drying up by not having been able to be loved as she wished by the man with whom she founded a family.
That said, the star of this feature film is undoubtedly André Dussollier. In the role of this man with a sometimes grating and iconoclastic humor, determined to put an end to it, the veteran impresses.
Everything went well is in theaters in Quebec.
Everything went well
With Sophie Marceau, André Dussollier, Geraldine Pailhas
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Everything went well | The choice of death ★★★½