Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France, 2005. Fidélité Productions, France 2 Cinema, StudioCanal, Canal+, TPS Star, Banque Populaire Images 5. Screenplay by Francois Ozon. Cinematography by Jeanne Lapoirie. Produced by Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier. Production Design by Katia Wyszkop. Costume Design by Pascaline Chavanne. Film Editing by Monica Coleman. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
Francois Ozon’s second film in a proposed trilogy about death and grieving (following the magnificent Under The Sand) is a deeply felt, touching story about a young photographer (Melvil Poupaud) who discovers that he has aggressive, terminal cancer. His frustration with the news turns inward as he avoids telling his family, with the exception of a marvelously moving trip to his grandmother’s (Jeanne Moreau) where he shares his sadness with her. The rest of his days are spent soaking his life in experience as much as possible before finally letting go, most delightfully in an encounter with a charming waitress (the always delectable Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) who has a curious request of him. Poupaud’s masterful performance is wonderfully subtle, and Ozon does such a great job of keeping a cool distance from the action while still allowing the audience to be emotionally involved. Classy and satisfying with the added bonus of the legendary Moreau to make it even better.