One Fine Morning15¦ Blu-ray, DVD
There’s something terribly French about Léa Seydoux. Of course there’s the glaring fact that she is French, which can’t be denied, but it’s more than that.
She came to worldwide prominence starring in 2015’s Spectre, as appearing in a Bond film is likely to do, which suddenly put her on the world stage.
And although she continues to appear in big budget Hollywood films, such as the upcoming Dune 2, She’s also happy to return to her roots, as she does here by appearing in a low budget, low drama French film. Now that’s French.
Living in Paris with her young daughter is Sandra (Seydoux). It’s just been the two of them since he partner died five years ago, and she’s pretty much resigned to the fact that she’s going to live alone.
Her father is suffering from a disease called Benson’s Syndrome, which among other things, has made him blind. It’s gotten to the point where he’s unable to care for himself anymore, and will need to be placed in a home. Having been close with her father, it’s a bitter pill to swallow to see his health diminish so quickly.
Meanwhile, she bumps into an old friend of her partner’s, Clément (Melvil Poupaud), who she hasn’t seen for a while. They get chatting and she discovers that things aren’t going well with his wife, which leads to a blossoming relationship between the pair of them.
But with dealing with her father’s situation, and a new man in her life who is far from single, Sandra soon finds her life more complicated than it really should be.
The French director Mia Hansen-Løve’s last film was the rather dull affair Bergman Island, on which this is a definite improvement – just.
It’s very much a slice of life tale, as we watch Sandra dealing with a few bumps in the road in her life that arrive at the same time. The problem with it however, is that it’s really quite pedestrian. To say that the film is a drama implies that it has dramatic moments, which it is completely devoid of.
Perhaps it’s because that Sandra and her family are all middle-class, that it isn’t right to display much in the way of emotions. It’s a fine line between displaying fragility and just an almost arrogant nonchalance which this film mostly carries.
For instance, although having a relationship with a married man, Sandra doesn’t really get upset about it. She teases him a bit, sure, and even pouts a little, but there’s no fiery temper where she just lets go. And the French can do that, as seen in the classic Betty Blue, for instance.
There’s also the fact that she’s losing her father, where she comes across as just been mildly upset by, which again, feels like there should have been more there.
It’s pleasant enough, but even in the sex scenes, it lacks passion on all sides.
That said, the performances are perfectly fine, and as you would expect, Seydoux is very watchable, with everyone giving grounded performances. Just a little too grounded, sadly.