Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life 2008

Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie

Directed by Rémi Bezançon

This French hit is a buoyant, rewardingly perceptive comedy-drama about family dynamics and the urge to escape them. “A cross-generational tale whose twists and turns are both touching and entertaining.” — Screendaily

France In French with English subtitles
114 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay


Isabelle Grellat
Eric Altmayer
Nicolas Altmayer


Antoine Monod


Sophie Reine

Set designer

Maamar Ech-Cheikh


Marie-Laure Lasson


Eddy Laurent
Olivier Walczak
Anne Gibourg
Emmanuel Croset




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