27 user 41 critic

It All Starts Today (1999)

Ça commence aujourd'hui (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 12 March 1999 (France)
1:36 | Trailer
Daniel is schoolmaster of a kindergarten in a small French town. The local economy, which depended entirely on coal production, has been mired in a depression ever since the mines were ... See full summary »


Bertrand Tavernier
12 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Philippe Torreton ... Daniel Lefebvre
Maria Pitarresi Maria Pitarresi ... Valeria
Nadia Kaci Nadia Kaci ... Samia Damouni
Véronique Ataly Véronique Ataly ... Mrs. Lienard
Nathalie Bécue Nathalie Bécue ... Cathy
Emmanuelle Bercot ... Mrs. Tievaux
Françoise Bette Françoise Bette ... Mrs. Delacourt
Christine Citti ... Mrs. Baudoin
Christina Crevillén Christina Crevillén ... Sophie
Sylviane Goudal Sylviane Goudal ... Gloria
Didier Bezace Didier Bezace ... Inspector
Betty Teboulle Betty Teboulle ... Mrs. Henry
Gérard Giroudon Gérard Giroudon ... Mayor
Marief Guittier Marief Guittier ... Daniel's mother
Daniel Delabesse Daniel Delabesse ... Marc


Daniel is schoolmaster of a kindergarten in a small French town. The local economy, which depended entirely on coal production, has been mired in a depression ever since the mines were closed. When their parents fall into utter discouragement or even poverty because of prolonged unemployment, the children suffer the consequences. Daniel is confronted daily with difficult situations and he feels responsible to deal with them although they are outside the scope of his responsibilities. This is a frustrating task: politicians are concerned with tightening their budgets, bureaucrats in the intricate web of French social and educational services with their prerogatives, utility companies with getting their bills paid; teachers, social workers, and policemen are overwhelmed. Daniel's relations with his parents, but also with Valeria, his fiancée, and her son are not entirely smooth either. He nevertheless soldiers on with the staff of the kindergarten, all doing their best to educate the ... Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Co-screenwriter Dominique Sampiero was Bertrand Tavernier's son-in-law. He was also a headmaster and drew on over 20 years experience for the screenplay. See more »


References First Blood (1982) See more »

User Reviews

A genuine portrait of a teacher.
9 November 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

A very mediocre French series "l'instit" contributed to giving the audience a false picture of the schoolteacher.In that poor sitcom ,actor Gerard Klein was some kind of superhero (on a motorcycle!) who acted like a pacifist Zorro or K2000.

Bertrand Tavernier and his wonderful thespian ,Philippe Torreton,de la Comédie Française set the record straight.First of all,this is a true story,inspired by a schoolteacher's books.And Tavernier is an artist whose best works ("l'horloger de Saint-Paul" "la mort en direct" and his masterpiece" la vie et rien d'autre")deal with the dignity of man. And as the title says "the future begins today" as everything is possible when the man's young can still wonder,discover,and ... perhaps love the world before he discovers the darker side of it.Because ,for most of the children we meet in this movie,the darker side is at their door,inside their houses,and School is the only way for them of getting away with a somber future.There are courageous lines against the Champagne socialists -When the movie was released,there were commies in the French government-"I could have expected more from a communist mayor!" the teacher says to the notable who closes the canteen to the children whose family is no longer able to pay.There is a very realistic scene between the teacher and his inspector.Although the former 's work is admirable,the state employee slags him off because he's blind and deaf to the world outside him,all he wants to do is to climb the upper rungs of the social ladder .Never the inspector hints at the children's plight,his narrow-minded view remains abstract and completely mindless:how could a group of four year old toddlers be autonomous?

A Tribute to the teachers ,who now more than ever need gratefulness and understanding,Tavernier's movie is deeply moving and deserves to be highly recommended.He equals Kenneth Loach here,not a small feat.

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Release Date:

12 March 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

It All Starts Today See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,639, 1 October 2000

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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