Everything Went Fine (2021) Poster

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A portrait of what it is to be ill and ageing
UnChienAndalou19292 August 2021
Based on the late Emmanuèle Bernheim's novel Everything Went Fine, French filmmaker François Ozon's light-hearted drama/comedy Tout s'est bien passé is filled with heart and humanity. Starring Sophie Marceau, Charlotte Rampling, André Dussollier, Géraldine Pailhas and Hanna Schygulla, the film beautifully encapsulates the human condition. Fantastic performances with a heartbreaking story. A portrait of what it is to be ill and ageing.

This is a film that touches on something deeper.
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searchanddestroy-123 May 2022
A must see in terms of realism around acting and directing. Andre Dussolier gives his best performance ever as a man victim of a stroke. It is painful, poignant and disturbing. It makes you think about many things during and after the watching. You can think about MILLION DOLLAR BABY, because of the euthanasia issue evoked here. If you had anyone arond you victim of a stroke, this film will probably be unbearable or on the contrary will help you to overcome your grief. It could have been a TV movie; the perfect topic for coach audiences. François Ozon has nothing more to prove anyway. Sophie Marceau is also worth seeing, as usual.
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A precise drama on assisted suicide
sascha-zollner25 April 2022
With very precise acting and without any traces of kitsch, "Everything Went Fine" by renowned French director, Francois Ozon ("Frantz"), is a masterful reflection on assisted suicide. The movie is based on the eponymous autobiography of the main character, Emmanuelle. Accordingly, the film takes a very personal look at her father and his desire to end his life in a self-determined way, but also at the conflicts into which this plunges his immediate environment. In particular, the numerous legal, bureaucratic and not least financial pitfalls are illuminated by the film in an unpretentious manner.

For all the authentic feelings the film portrays, it resists any temptation toward pathos or over-dramatization. The biography of the dying father, his difficult marriage heavily burdened by his bisexuality, the critical relationship with his daughter ("You've always been my favorite son") -- all this is only lightly hinted at. In fact, the movie manages to tackle a deeply existential topic with surprising lightness.

All in all, this is certainly the work of a master director, but not quite a genuine masterpiece. Nevertheless, "Tout s'est bien passé" is well worth seeing and thinking about -- though it doesn't necessarily make you cry. At least not before the final credits roll.
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"Everything Went Well"
Makartsevamary19 January 2022
"Everything Went Well" is a feature film by French director Francois Ozon, which premiered in July 2021 at the Cannes Film Festival. The main roles in the film were played by Sophie Marceau, Hannah Shigulla and Charlotte Rampling.

The screenplay of the film is based on the novel by Emmanuel Bernheim. The central characters are two women (one of them is a famous writer) who find out that their father is terminally ill and wants to commit euthanasia The beginning of work on the film became known in March 2020. Francois Ozon wrote the script of the film himself , filming began at the end of 2020. The premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021,the film will be released in wide distribution in France on September 22, 2021.

"Everything went well" is another film by one of the recognized masters of European cinema, Francois Ozon. The film is based on the autobiographical novel by French writer Emmanuelle Bername. The film is based on the family story of a woman whose elderly father, a well-known art collector who was half paralyzed after a stroke, asks his daughter to help him pass away. However, since euthanasia is prohibited in France, it is not so easy to do what you have planned. And some of the hero's relatives are extremely negative about his decision.

Despite the rather serious topic and the declared genre of drama, the picture looks much easier than you expect at first. The main reason for this is the personality of the main character - the elderly Andre, who was brilliantly played by 75-year-old Andre Dussollier. Not the most positive husband and father, with a stubborn and selfish character, the hero does not always cause sympathy - despite the severity of the situation in which he found himself. You sympathize more with his family members - two daughters (played by Sophie Marceau and Geraldine Paya), for whom the fulfillment of the father's wish is fraught with possible legal problems and is associated with difficult moral responsibility. And also their mother (played by Charlotte Rampling), who suffers from Parkinson's disease, for whom marriage with Andre turned out to be a complete failure. After all, the hero of the film, on top of everything else, is also an open homosexual.

However, despite the complicated family relationships of all four, Francois Ozon does not seek to deeply explore the past of the heroes. There are several episodes in the film dedicated to the youth of the heroine, played by Sophie Marceau- but they look more like random memories or hints to the viewer, which can be interpreted in different ways. Ultimately, the director is more interested in the present, not the past. And the story shown in the film is, first of all, about what can wait for some of us or our parents in old age, about human choice and how this choice affects the closest ones. A magnificent acting ensemble, tragicomic situations in which the characters sometimes get into, witty dialogues and a very dynamic narrative for such films make the picture of Ozone quite interesting for the general public. At the same time, it's not worth waiting for something outstanding from this tape. There are a lot of bureaucratic details related to the process of euthanasia, a fairly predictable plot development and probably not the characters closest to Russian viewers. Nevertheless, Ozone in his film tells about the elite stratum of French society: the main character is a writer, her husband is a film critic, her father is a collector and businessman, her mother is a sculptor, her sister is a musician. The life of the heroes, despite some family grievances, is generally quite prosperous and secured. And therefore death does not look so terrible. No wonder, in one of the episodes, Andre, having found out how much you need to pay for the procedure of passing away, involuntarily asks a question: "Then how do the poor die?" "Oh, Dad, they're just waiting," the daughter replies.

Restrained in emotions, quite simple, but not devoid of touching and memorable moments, the story should appeal to those who love a calm, vital movie, and fans of Francois Ozon's work. In general, this is a well-made picture with a well-thought-out script, decent camerawork and excellent performance by all actors without exception.
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A life well lived, and a life well loved
nightfirehorse_6 March 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Tout s'est bien passé, Everything Went Fine is part of this year's Alliance Française French Film Festival line up in Australia.

Just like last year, I curated this year's festival viewing order by kicking it off with a François Ozon film (I do like a temporal echo or a doubling where possible). But unlike his last year's upbeat and romantic Été 85, Summer of 85 (2020) where the summer sun and youthfulness harked back to my own childhood back in the late 80s, of first loves and the freedom of being a teenager. This year's film, Tout s'est bien passé, Everything Went Fine (2021) is a completely different affair. It deals with the difficult end of life choice - and examines the nature of such a request, the complexities and the many emotions a family has to deal with when being asked to assist in ending the life of someone they love.

The story opens with Emmanuèle Bernheim (Sophie Marceau) sitting in her study in front of her laptop; the room is bright and she's surrounded by books. She receives a phone call and exits her apartment in a hurry, a little comical when she had to dash back inside to put on her contact lenses. As an audience, we still do not know why she's had to rush out, except that in most narratives, we expect not very good news to follow. Her father André Bernheim has just suffered a stroke, and she meets her sister Pascale (Géraldine Pailhas) outside the hospital where she has been waiting. They rush by their father's side once his tests have been done and immediately, realisation hits, the effects of the stroke is plainly drawn on their father's face, you can immediately see that he's paralysed to some degree.

The inimitable André Dussollier gives his all as André Bernheim; where the actor has become completely transparent, and you only see Bernheim, without arteface. I thought quite deeply about his role after watching the film, and despite the common reaction of 'he must have found it difficult to play such a role', I thought quite the opposite. Perhaps it's because as you get older, your approach to death changes. Your acceptance that it is inevitable for all of us to die, and that you should not be fearful of your own death. Dussollier's uncompromising performance meant that you get to experience the human in all its facets and conducts when you come face-to-face with this inevitability. Even paralysed by the stroke and facing the end, he is not without desire or passion; so that at the ripe old age of 85, he is still flirting with good-looking young men, and his spirits rise when doing so, you can only imagine his younger self; in the film, he takes a likely to the young man who was assisting him with physical therapy, and again with the ambulance drivers, or with his favourite waiter Thierry at Le Voltaire; basically, with any young man who catches his eye when his spirits were up.

As the film progresses, although Bernheim's mobility and strength was improving: being able to take solid food, have visitors call in, can sit up by himself and even allowing his violent ex-lover (Daniel Mesguich) visit him despite his agitation after the visit. Bernheim's whim of 'wanting to end it all' becomes not so much a whim, but a persistent demand that begins to wear down the recipients of this request. But moreover, this demand requires action and careful planning from his daughters for the wish to be fulfilled at all.

For his daughters, Manue and Pascale, dealing with their father's plaintive request is a different matter altogether; perhaps because Bernheim had asked Manue only and not Pascale, (he talked to his nurses and doctors about it too). Reflection on this request by Manue was quietly thought through a series of memory fragments: of the father/daughter relationship with her younger self. Pascale's reception of this news was more reactive and she oscillates from feeling one way and then the other.

At its core, the film is sobre, tender and unflinching in its exploration of the human psyche and family dynamics. To be able to decipher whether their father meant it 'for real' is not the same as their ability or willingness to accept his request; and yet another, again, to take on the task at hand of arranging for his assisted suicide.

The word euthanasia comes from the Greek, with the word eu meaning 'good' and thanatos meaning 'death'. The 'good death', can this be possible? The moment when Bernheim finally got his 'wish' confirmed following a meeting with the visiting Swiss woman (the wonderful Hanna Schygulla) who would later be overseeing his final act, he was elated. After finding out how much this all costs, Bernheim's question of 'what do poor people do?' and his daughter's answer 'they have to wait for death to come' is a stark reminder of what it means to have a choice, and there is a very fine line between assisted euthanasia and choosing death. The film's continual affirmation of 'choosing life' is also a good counterpoint here, as for Bernheim and finally his daughters, his decision and their acceptance of it, is not as black and white as about choosing death or choosing life, but it is about choosing to die with dignity.

This 'grey' area has a tremendously beautiful response within the film, from Bernheim's estranged wife, Claude (Charlotte Rampling's gave her a flinty and detached character). In a flashback, Manue was watching Claude make one of her sculptures, and asked of her mother 'why don't you ever use colours in your sculptures?' and Claude's reply was 'grey is a colour, there are many colours in grey'. And perhaps this is what Ozon has set out to show us; that choosing to end your life with dignity doesn't diminish the ability or colour of the departing person. Instead, it gives the opportunity to say farewell to loved ones, to put affairs in order, to have the comfort of family around (although Bernheim 'tricked' his cousins to come over from the US) and to have a last meal, for Bernheim this was at Le Voltaire and I can certainly understand why.

I had not realised that this film was based on a true story until the dedication at the end, it's from a book by Emmanuèle Bernheim, who was the daughter of art collector André Bernheim and sculptress Claude de Soria. 'Manue' as she was called in the film passed away in 2017, and her book Tout s'est bien passé was published by Gallimard in 2013. She wrote a number of novels and was a collaborator with Ozon in developing scenarios for two of his earlier films, Swimming Pool (2003) and 5x2 (2004). She had also adapted her novel Vendredi soir into a screenplay for Claire Denis' film of the same name in 2002. I still remember how much I loved that film when I saw it at the French Film Festival now twenty years ago; the grainy feel of the night, glimpses of the sky and that mad long drive in reverse gear down a one-way street.

In some ways, Emmanuèle Bernheim's connection with Ozon must have been his impetus to bring her novel to life and to tackle this difficult subject. His dedication to her at the end of the film was, to me at least, a very touching personal note. And the inclusion of that detail at the start of the film - of having Emmanuèle come back inside the apartment to put on her contact lenses before rushing to the hospital - makes this story a personal one, rather than reading it only symbolically: of the need to see things clearly.

The phrase 'everything went fine' are the words Schygulla's character said to Manue over the phone. They are not so much words of comfort, but they describe a state of affairs in a practical manner that is to be understood as the greatest care had been given.

There are so many touching and funny moments in this film. Bernheim's love of music (he played the piano and used to accompany his grandson), especially Brahms, meant that he had to ask Manue to reschedule his appointment in Switzerland, by a few days, as though it was any other appointment, in order to attend his grandson's recital. His inability to keep a secret; as euthanasia is illegal in France, by carelessly telling everyone his plans, it was as though he was going out of his way to sabotage what had been difficult to orchestrate physically and emotionally. Marceau, who I've really not seen very much of in recent years is beautiful and graceful as Manue, and Éric Caravaca who was in Ozon's By the Grace of God (2018) is wonderful as her lover / partner.

I also loved that the reference to a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française on Luis Buñuel, which I'm assuming was a real event. Manue's lover is none other than Serge Toubiana who was the director of the Cinémathèque Française between 2003 and 2016 and editor in chief of the Cahiers du Cinéma for many years, his involvement started in 1974 and formerly finished in 2000. He is currently serving his second term as president of UniFrance. There's a very beautiful article that Toubiana wrote as a farewell to his friend Claudine Paquot in Senses of Cinema in 2011.
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