Bond girl, body horror muse, troubled news anchor and media icon ... French star actress Léa Seydoux recently added some diverse characters to her career. But the role of single mother in the return of filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve to Paris (where she was born) is perhaps her most moving. Over the past decade, Hansen-Løve has built a body of work that dissects the complexities of everyday life. Whether it's first romance in Un amour de jeunesse, a grieving teacher in L'avenir or the creative process of an artistic couple in Bergman Island, the French filmmaker's cinema is always sensitive, (bitter)sweet, relatable and full of empathy. "I only film characters for whom I feel empathy, whatever their weaknesses", she said doing press for her latest tranche de vie.
Un beau matin is the portrait of Sandra, a young widow and mother, at a transition point in her life. Struggling with the repercussions of caring for her father - a retired philosophy professor suffering from a neurodegenerative disease - she is simultaneously experiencing a renaissance in her love life. Sandra lives with her daughter in a small Parisian studio and actually believes her love life to be over. Until she runs into Clément, an old friend with whom she begins a passionate affair. "You have the right to love and be loved", Clément tells her. He's a cosmochemist who tries to answer the big questions of the universe in a dilapidated office. But he's also a father and a husband ...
Ostensibly, this intimate portrait seems French cinema at its most French: sex, romance, philosophy and the banalities of life against the backdrop of a charming quartier. Yet, in the gentle hands of Mia Hansen-Løve, it becomes a beautiful Rohmerian observation of our micro-emotions that are in fact the essence of our existence. You can take each and every character right out of the frame and drop it into real life. Moreover, her eighth film is (again) a very personal one: she based the screenplay on her own experiences with her sick father while he was still alive. The director once compared her filmography to building a house. Assisted by Denis Lenoir's warm 35mm cinematography and Seydoux's lived-in performance, Mia Hansen Løve adds another impressive floor to that house.
Léa Seydoux, Pascal Greggory, Melvil Poupaud
Philippe Martin, Gerhard Meixner, David Thion
Les Films Pelléas