It explores love, both romantic and familial, with no trace of drama or sappiness, and without ever feeling slight. It’s a balm of a film and another glorious showcase for the director’s light touch when dealing with complicated emotions.
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As Sandra, Seydoux puts forward a delicately incandescent performance portraying someone in an unstable state, whose conflicting emotions about what she can’t change overwhelm her.
Hansen-Løve has traced her own paternal grief into an illuminatingly honest sketch about how loss is necessary for rebirth, guilt inextricable from self-fulfillment, and the present worth savoring for its role in bringing the past and the future together — rather than as a buffer for keeping them apart.
Hansen-Love finds moments of truth in the melange, and Seydoux is transcendent, carrying a sadness inside which proves incredibly moving when the opportunity for love presents itself and she melts into it.
It knows the fragility of quiet, which is sometimes the sound of inner peace, and sometimes, per that Prévert poem, the echoing unrest of an empty space.
In the quietly miraculous One Fine Morning (Un beau matin), writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve and her leading lady Léa Seydoux make the old feel new again.
Like a weaver on a loom, Hansen-Løve loops these moments together, threading small moments of thought-provoking social commentary throughout, revealing the larger picture only once the process is done, offering a snapshot of a moment in time, a profound and captivating portrait of love, lost, found, and ever-remaining.
For all its tendency to soap opera, it has a lovely happy-sad sweetness.
Seydoux has unfakeable chemistry here with a perfect-as-usual Poupaud, the leading man in French cinema who seems most incapable of putting a foot wrong.