Life modifications as it occurs. Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Wonderful Morning takes the assorted compartments of a lady’s life and permits them to behave naturally, which is to say, to vary: shifting, recurring and reflecting again on one another in ways in which really feel true to that life.
It’s a life located within the on a regular basis patterns of routine. Visits to an ailing father, who suffers from Benson’s syndrome, a degenerative neurological situation; and extra visits to different kin, together with a mom (now divorced for over 20 years) and sister as they work out how greatest to take care of the ailing man for the foreseeable future. And even that care shouldn’t be easy, a feat that entails transferring the person from one hospital to the following, punctuating your complete film. The lady in query, Sandra Kienzler (Léa Seydoux), is a translator by commerce. She has one younger daughter, Linn; the lady’s father has been useless for 5 years.
This isn’t the sort of movie to make us wait lengthy for the query of affection to reenter Sandra’s life — and it arrives by the use of a recurrence. By probability, she runs into a pricey good friend of her late husband, Clément (Melvil Poupaud), and so they hit it off, their lives clicking collectively like appropriate opposites. To her literary tastes, we meet his work as a scientist, a cosmo-chemist, particularly, charged with learning extraterrestrial mud. To her late husband, we have now his ex-wife within the making, or at the very least, that is the plan. She has a daughter, he has a son. And within the grand scheme of issues, they like and need one another very a lot, delving right into a routine of fixed intercourse that appears to shock them each, and which has no downsides however for the inevitable drawback of what it will imply for his household.
What’s One Wonderful Morning about? To an awesome extent, it’s about issues like this — issues of the soul versus the physique. At one level, Sandra sums it up plainly. This comes when she’s lastly determined what to do together with her literary, ex-professor father’s books after they’ve moved him into hospital care. Sandra’s visits to her father generally really feel strained; for her kindness, and the sort of clever heat at which Seydoux excels, she is nonetheless clearly flustered. Affected person, however unsure of what to do with this man who can barely see, who’s susceptible to panic assaults, who — out of affection — deserves endurance, however who generally strains that endurance. Giving a number of the man’s books away, Sandra says, “His library is extra him than the particular person within the hospital.” His soul is within the books, she says. The hospital merely claims the physique.
One Wonderful Morning is but extra proof of how far Mia Hansen-Løve can push her naturalistic model, utilizing seemingly plain storytelling to advance mental concepts that not often really feel drawn from the thoughts as a result of they’re so in tune with felt expertise: emotions and sights, the passing of time, the sense of a life being lived. This film isn’t any completely different. Her affinity for well-patterned drama that reveals itself by itself time, in its personal means, is on righteous show right here. The interactions between Sandra and Clément and Sandra and her father (and mom) are rife with concepts, partly as a result of Sandra is so stuffed with them. She is figuring one thing out about her personal nature. She is waking as much as her worry, not solely of dropping her father, however of sooner or later being misplaced in the way in which that he’s misplaced. She is waking up, not simply to a brand new love, however to the concept of wanting love once more after having felt that she’d left such rituals behind. It’s no marvel the person who emerges again in her life is a person that she already knew. You sense that utter newness wouldn’t enchantment to her. The get-to-know-you song-and-dance will get excised in favor of the sort of rapid intimacy to which Sandra naturally, instantly clings, in the way in which that you just solely may if you happen to’d hungered for it.
It’s the sort of intimacy that’s beneath pressure in her visits to her father — and this pressure turns into one thing for Sandra to contemplate, and take into account deeply. That’s what resounds, right here: a way of deep consideration, a life being understood because it’s being lived. One Wonderful Morning works as a result of the essential drama of it conjures up our personal curiosity about Sandra and the modes of affection she is exploring in her life. It satisfies as a result of Hansen-Løve appears to share our curiosities. Watching Sandra dwell in her world, we’re additionally watching a director discover that world — gently, quietly, however with unmistakable hungers of the thoughts and soul, of her personal.