The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie

“A beautifully-written... cross-generational tale whose twists and turns are both touching and entertaining.” — Lisa Nesselson, Screendaily
Year: 2008
Country: France
Running time: 114 mins

Screenplay: Rémi Bezançon
Producers: Isabelle Grellat, Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer
Photography: Antoine Monod
Editor: Sophie Reine
Set designer: Maamar Ech-Cheikh
Costumes: Marie-Laure Lasson
Sound: Eddy Laurent, Olivier Walczak, Anne Gibourg, Emmanuel Croset
Music: Sinclair
In French with English subtitles
CinemaScope/M sex scenes, offensive language, drug use

With: Jacques Gamblin (Robert), Zabou Breitman (Marie-Jeanne), Déborah François (Fleur), Marc-André Grondin (Raphaël), Pio Marmaï (Albert)

This popular French hit is a buoyant, rewardingly perceptive dramatic comedy about family dynamics and the urge to escape them. Robert (the peerless Jacques Gamblin), who's still being talked down to by his own father, and wife Marie-Jeanne are doing their best to allow their three children the space to go their own ways. Covering the years 1988–2000, we zoom in on the events of five separate days. On each day a different one of the five family members is striking out on his or her own in some way, but we're also granted a gratifying picture of what the other four are up to at the time. Rémi Bezançon directs his own excellently lively script. He references 90s music and styles with perfect recall to pinpoint the years, while keeping a sharp eye on the shifts in mutual appreciation among parents and progeny. The performances are engagingly individual but gel convincingly into a rounded and moving memento of family unity. — BG

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