7.6/10
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39 user 18 critic

The Eighth Day (1996)

Le huitième jour (original title)
An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.

Director:

Jaco Van Dormael
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Auteuil ... Harry
Pascal Duquenne ... Georges
Miou-Miou ... Julie
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Le directeur de la banque
Isabelle Sadoyan Isabelle Sadoyan ... la mère de Georges
Michele Maes Michele Maes ... Nathalie (as Michèle Maes)
Fabienne Loriaux Fabienne Loriaux ... la soeur de Georges - Fabienne
Alice van Dormael Alice van Dormael ... Alice
Juliette Van Dormael ... Juliette
Marie-Pierre Meinzel Marie-Pierre Meinzel ... La vendeuse du magasin du chaussures
Sabrina Leurquin Sabrina Leurquin ... La serveuse du snack
Laszlo Harmati Laszlo Harmati ... Luis Mariano
Alain Bougnet Alain Bougnet
Magali Cote Magali Cote
Jean Désert Jean Désert
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Storyline

Georges has Down's syndrome, living at a mental-institution. Harry is a busy businessman, giving lectures for young aspiring salesmen. He is successful in his business life, but his social life is a disaster since his wife left him and took their two children with her. This weekend his children came by train to meet him, but Harry, working as always, forgot to pick them up. Neither his wife nor his children want to see him again and he is driving around on the country roads, anguished and angry. He almost runs over Georges, on the run from the institution since everybody else went home with their parents except him, whose mother is dead. Harry tries to get rid of Georges but he won't leave his new friend. Eventually a special friendship forms between the two of them, a friendship which makes Harry a different person. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | UK

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$328,452
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Pascal Duquenne and Daniel Auteuil tied for the Best Actor Award at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival for their roles in this film. This was the first time such an event had happened. See more »

Quotes

[lying on the grass in the sun]
Harry: We should get going.
Georges: Just one more minute.
Harry: Okay.
[they lie down for a minute more]
Harry: [looks at his watch] Okay, it's over.
Georges: A nice minute, for us.
See more »


Soundtracks

Mexico
Music by Francis Lopez
Lyrics by Raymond Vincy
Performed by Luis Mariano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Original, refreshing, challenging, puts Rain Man in the shade
19 June 2000 | by dan-476See all my reviews

This is the French and Belgians doing what they do best. It's quirky, visually inventive, exhilarating and emotionally challenging storytelling. Director Jaco van Dormael takes us into the world of Georges, a Down's Syndrome sufferer and his quest for a meaningful relationship with someone, just anyone. This is not done in a patronising way but with a great sense of fun and also honesty. Georges' interplay with corporate management guru, Harry is dazzlingly handled - shifting from comedy to tragedy back to comedy again with breathtaking ease.

The Eighth Day puts similar Hollywood fare like Barry Levinson's Oscar winning Rain Man or Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump well and truly in the shade. At times, it evokes the humour of Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with shades of Dennis Potter thrown in for good measure.

As the emotionally blunted and desperately lonely yuppie, Harry, Daniel Auteuil turns in yet another sublime performance. But it is matched by the brilliant Pascal Duquenne as Georges. It's a movie with uniformly strong performances and so many, memorable set pieces - the shoe shop scene, car showroom scene, George's dance to Genesis's 'Jesus He Knows Me,' the conference scene, the fireworks scene. If you haven't seen it, there's only one thing to do. Just rent it or attend a screening at a retro cinema near you and see what you've been missing. Better still, buy this movie. Sheer genius.....


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