REVIEW / OPINION FILM – The always so productive François Ozon returns in 2021 with “Everything went well”, a poignant drama with Sophie Marceau and André Dussollier on a delicate subject which never ceases to provoke debate: euthanasia.
Everything went well : a race against life
François Ozon is not idle and is already going after Summer 85, with another really different feature film. This time he adapts Everything went well by Emmanuèle Bernheim, a novel based on the painful true story of the author. Like with Thanks to God, the director takes hold ofa strong subject. In this case, he is attacking here the perilous question of euthanasia in France, a debate that agitates public opinion.
The film presents Sophie Marceau in the skin of a novelist whose father, André (André Dussollier), is the victim of a stroke. At 84, affected by irreversible consequences and now condemned to depend on others, he refuses to live an end of existence in this form. This is why he directly asks one of his daughters, Emmanuèle, to help him shorten his suffering, in a country where the Leonetti law governs this process. She will not be alone in this battle for her father’s deliverance. Her sister, played by Geraldine Pailhas, also finds herself up against the wall. André is the type to get what he wants and nothing can distract him from his goal.
A drama on death far from being heavy
Everything went well reassures us even before starting, with its title borrowed from positivity. You don’t even have to wait for the first frame to know that the story that will unfold before our eyes will end well, no matter what. It is therefore the path that becomes the most important. With tears, moments of doubt, fear, but also with luminous moments, parentheses that warm the heart.
As André says, “no mourner“here and François Ozon does not try to draw tears to us while its subject could have turned into the office of tears of bourgeois Franco-Parisian France. The film is fairly well balanced between the hard times and those where a saving energy takes over. Because it is about that, between the lines, to save a father from a long agony by agreeing to take the steps that will bring it to an end. And the guy has a tendency to get impatient to get it done as quickly as possible.
An imperial cast
François Ozon leads his story with beautiful clarity, painting the portrait of an atypical family. His work lacks a bit of cinema but his approach to the subject and, in particular, his characters, enhance the whole. We obviously have to talk about the fantastic main trio. Sophie Marceau and Géraldine Pailhas are simply superb. As for André Dussollier, he delivers a bluffing performance.
The latter is the center of interest and also an astonishing comic detonator. It is surely thanks to his humor that the film surprises the most. André releases crispy lines that relax the atmosphere. We laugh, for example, to hear him say that his wife is sick, while he is glued to a bed. Or to see him planning a possible death date the week of his daughter’s birthday – without realizing it. This disconcerting father figure is as much the cause of the pain of his daughters as the beacon that unites everyone in a project far from common. The film leads to reflect on the end of life by bringing a (possible) answer full of dignity. François Ozon does not seek to close a sensitive debate but simply to tell us that everything can go well.
Everything went well by François Ozon, in theaters on September 22, 2021. Check out the trailer above. Find all our trailers here.