Léa Seydoux lands the role of a lifetime in Mia Hansen-Løve’s stunning tale of love and loss.
In a masterclass of a performance, Seydoux plays Sandra, a widowed mother whose philosophy professor father Georg is suffering from Benson’s syndrome, a neurodegenerative condition that is causing his mind, vision and memory to fail. At the same time, an encounter with old friend Clément sparks new romance in Sandra’s life and although he is in a relationship, the two begin a passionate affair.
French writer-director Hansen-Løve became a festival fixture with films such as All Is Forgiven (2007), Father of My Children (2009) and more recently the Palme d’Or nominated Bergman Island. In this, her latest Cannes prize winner, she hits a career high note. While all of her films have felt deeply personal, this is possibly her most autobiographical work. Her own father suffered a neurodegenerative condition, and Georg’s journey from hospitals to nursing homes, and the attendant anxiety that causes his relatives, is directly inspired by the film-maker’s experiences. A quietly thoughtful and ultimately life-affirming portrait of the strange interaction between grief and rebirth, this is absolute film magic
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