Francois Ozon may not be the author to expect masterpieces from, but in addition to being incredibly productive and making about twenty feature films in the last quarter of a century, he is also a constant. I can’t think of a single film by this Frenchman that I would describe as bad, it’s usually quality and good films that may not be at the very top of annual production, but they are films that usually can’t be mistaken. Such is “Everything Went Fine” (Tout s’est bien passé in the original), a drama based on the memoirs of French writer Emmanuela Bernheim who co-wrote the screenplay with Ozon for his two early films (Swimming Pool and 5×2).
For the role, Bernheim Ozon chose the almost forgotten Sophie Marceau, a former teenage star that movie fans may still remember best for her roles in Gibson’s “Braveheart” or Bond’s girlfriend in one of the series’ countless sequels. Although Marceau still appears relatively regularly in French films, I don’t remember the last time I saw her somewhere, and in this euthanasia drama Sophie is in solid form. For Emmanuele (Marceau), it all starts with a phone call on September 15 that her 85-year-old father Andre (Andre Dussollier) suffered a severe stroke from which he will probably never recover. Emmanuele and her sister Pascale (Geraldine Pailhais) believe that the old man will still recover and are always with him, but he seems to have had enough of life.
He no longer wants to live and will ask his daughter to help him alleviate his suffering, but the problem is that euthanasia is not only banned in France, but the helper may end up in prison. Luckily, there is Switzerland where euthanasia is allowed, so in “Everything Went Fine” we follow the next few months in their lives and attempts to fulfill the old man’s wishes. But Ozon wouldn’t be Ozon if it weren’t for a much more layered story, because occasionally we have flashbacks to Emmanuela’s childhood, from which we get some hints of what their relationship might have been like and what Andre might have been like.
In addition to Emmanuela and Pascale, there is a certain Gerard who is constantly trying to reach Andrea and it is obvious that the old art collector and wealthy industrialist apparently had homosexual tendencies that must have affected the lives of this family. We can also see that his wife, the famous sculptor Claude (Charlotte Rampling), is in a rather bad condition, and it can be inferred that her husband’s behavior over the years has at least partially pushed her over the edge. Although Emmanuele is ready to help her father in his wishes (we could never and should not have said no to Dad, she says on one occasion), it will not be easy because one always hopes that the inevitable or death can always be postponed at least a little longer.
And “Everything Went Fine” was not an easy or pleasant film at all, although it is obvious that Andre is a very sensible man whose stroke may have taken away his physical functions, but his brain is still working very well. It is a film that deals with the still controversial and extremely difficult topic of euthanasia, but also a film in which Ozone deals with one of its frequent topics – death – in an explicit and bypassing way. Death is somehow still a taboo topic and people do not like to think about it, which is completely normal and logical. But the situation in which the main characters of the film will find themselves is also completely normal and we all found ourselves in them or we will find each other and this is also a humanistic drama about accepting the inevitable and moments when one realizes that the judge played the end and the game is over. Rating 7/10.
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