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Release Date: 03/10/23 [VOD]
Genre: Drama. Romance.

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics

"With a father suffering from neurodegenerative disease, a young woman lives with her eight-year-old daughter. While struggling to secure a decent nursing home, she runs into an unavailable friend with whom she embarks on an affair." 


One Fine Morning is an intimate, naturalistic and gentle dream of a movie for anyone who has ever imagined living in Paris. 


We visited the city of lights a few years ago, and this film brought back all of those memories and more. It also made me glad for English subtitles, as my high school French is more than a little rusty.


One Fine Morning beautifully immerses us into the day-to-day life of a young woman named Sandra who is both parenting her child and helping to care for her ill, aging father. Having lost her husband some time ago, she soon enters into a romance with a married friend.


We see Sandra at her job as a translator, walking or riding mass transit, taking care of her child and visiting her father. We see her meet her lover, help coordinate her father’s care with other family members and enjoy close, tender moments with her young daughter.


All of One Fine Morning’s moments are of this nature: intimate and at times mundane,  yet always a pleasure to watch. Lea Seydoux is outstanding in the lead role, portraying Sandra as calm and seemingly unflappable – she rarely loses her temper or becomes upset despite the challenges she deals with in her life and work.


The film skillfully navigates between ordinary, everyday moments and small events that have lingering impact, such as when Sandra is trying to decide what to do with her professor father’s treasured books and journals. 


“This library is more him than his body – the books are his soul, his personality. They form his portrait,” she muses.


The viewer feels close to Sandra and empathy for all that she must juggle in her life while also somewhat awed at her never seeming stressed or overwhelmed by it all. 


One Fine Morning gives the viewer hope that perhaps we, too, can be strong yet soft like Sandra is in the face of challenges and everyday life. Maybe we, too, can walk through the streets of Paris, convince our lover to leave his wife and shepherd a young daughter through life without her late father even while our own parent suffers imminent decline.


The tender life moments of One Fine Morning add up to a gentle, warm bath of a movie that soothes and comforts the viewer. If you’re cool with English subtitles and you have some interest in a woman-led story about life in Paris, I think you’ll truly enjoy this film.

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