“I feel closer to my father with his books than with him. Each book is a touch of colour. All together, they form his portrait.”Sandra Kienzler
Léa Seydoux is poignant and engaging in this exploration of love in its familial and romantic forms. Writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve introduces us to Sandra at a pivotal point of loss and gain — her father fading to a neuro-degenerative syndrome whilst she kindles an illicit romance with an old friend. The ebb and flow of these aspects forms One Fine Morning’s pacing. Pascal Greggory’s performance is moving yet understated, an academic painfully aware of his deterioration and yet docile rather than defiant in the face of being bounced between hospitals and care homes. A single mother, Sandra’s most stable relationship is with her young daughter; the others feel fragile — her father is disappearing and her mother’s support feels finite, whilst her lover is indecisive about his marriage. The camera sits with Seydoux through the inner turmoil of Sandra’s relationships, trusting the viewer to interpret what remains unsaid or, in her father’s case, misspoken. One Fine Morning ends abruptly in a way that is momentarily dissatisfying but, with hindsight, feels more appropriate for its naturalistic tone than providing artificial catharsis — love is a continuing, enduring experience that lacks a neatly identifiable climax or conclusion.