Tropic Sprockets / One Fine Morning

By Ian Brockway

Mia Hansen-Løve (Bergman Island) directs “One Fine Morning,” a smartly handled romantic drama in the tradition of the French cinema of the 70s. [For showtimes and trailer, check]. Immersive and engaging with notes of apprehension, this film would make the psychological work of Claire Denis proud. Subtle and nuanced, this work holds you in and compels you to keep watching.

Sandra (Léa Seydoux) is a single mom, alone for many years when a chance meeting in Paris places her in the path of an old friend Clement (Melvil Poupaud). Sandra makes it clear she only wants friendship but during a second meeting at Sandra’s house, Clement moves in with his lips. Sandra is taken aback and Clement confesses his desire. He says his wife no longer loves him.

The two begin a clandestine affair.

Sondra is visiting her father (Pascal Greggory) at a nursing home. Her dad is not getting the care he needs and the day to day grind is taking its toll. Sandra begins to think that Clement is stringing her along while not being man enough to either commit or break up, and Sandra is starting to have acodependency with him.

In addition to comparisons with French Cinema, the film is also reminiscent of the American film “An Unmarried Woman” (1978) in its naturalistic and earthy details. It is a perfect example of a realistic and honest slice of life film, when films did not require any excess vibrations or effects. All that is required is the portrayal of two adults in love, highlighting self-centeredness and compassion for one another.

“One Fine Morning” is retro and old fashioned in all positive ways. It satisfies in its warmth charm and its unapologetic authenticity.

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