Candid Cinema

TIFF ’22: ‘One Fine Morning’ Review

Sometimes we wander through life with the years passing us by. Some could have gone through a tough relationship, others could experience a great loss, and some feel trapped in their current situation. Either way, whatever anyone is going through, sometimes we may forget to live. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our heads that we forget there is a world of endless possibilities. What Mia Hansen-Love does in One Fine Morning is explore both sides of the spectrum at the same time. Even if we are happy in one moment, the sadness still lies there waiting to bubble up to the surface when we least expect it. 

We meet Sandra (Léa Seydoux) who has a father suffering from neurodegenerative disease. She lives with her eight-year-old daughter and is a professor at a local college. While struggling to secure a decent nursing home for her father, she runs into a friend who, although in a relationship, embarks on an affair. Hansen-Love shows that when it rains, it pours, and the small moments in life that you seize can shine a dim light for a little while. After losing her husband, Sandra was in a more private state and focused on raising her daughter. She is someone who has become selfless and hasn’t looked at herself in many years. When her father’s condition gets worse, she sees how short life is and starts living again. 

She takes a risk with a married man Clément (Melvil Poupaud) and this affair gives her more heartache than love at first. The one time she does anything for herself, it ends up being one of the most difficult relationships for her. Seydoux gives a strong performance as she internalizes her pain. Her emotions come out the longer she has to endure the pain of losing her father and her new love. It’s an intimate, emotional film for those who have cared for a sick parent. It’s extremely difficult to move forward with your own life when the person who raised you is slowly slipping away. Hansen-Love uses small spaces to fill the room with many emotions. Each character adds more to Sandra’s life and at times it can feel suffocating.

One Fine Morning is a tender film about love, loss, and life. Hansen-Love works with Seydoux to create such a loving and open atmosphere in this film that you will feel so close to Sandra. She was able to pull from her own experiences to present a different reality for those caring for their elders. This film shows the importance of trying to live your life, even though it feels like things are coming to an end. Whether you’re pushing forward for yourself or your loved ones, life is worth living for the small moments that make you happy. Sandra was stuck in her routine until her father’s illness changes the way she looks at life in general.

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