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Mia Hansen-Løve Returns With Understated ‘One Fine Morning’ (Review)

With an incredible run of films going back to her 2007 debut ‘All is Forgiven,’ Mia Hansen-Løve has become one of my favorite filmmakers.

She’s been met with acclaim and accolades from the start, with that first film earning nominations at the Cannes Film Festival and the César awards. As the years have rolled on, she has continued to consistently tell intensely personal stories with warmth.

We covered her last film, 2021’s ‘Bergman Island,’ here and it recently was released through the Criterion Collection.

For her eighth feature film, she cast Léa Seydoux (‘Blue is the Warmest Color’) as Sandra. She is a young single mother who works as a translator. Her father Georg (Pascal Greggory) was a brilliant man who taught philosophy, but a neurodegenerative disease has wrecked havoc on his brain.

Sandra is determined to make sure her father can have a dignified life as his condition gradually deteriorates. Initially, she tries to handle the burden of his care on her own, but soon realizes that it’s not possible to maintain her own life, care for her daughter, and ensure that he has everything he needs..

Pascal Greggory and Léa Seydoux star in Mia Hansen-Løve’s ‘One Fine Morning’ (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Verdict

The topic is, of course, heavily emotional. It’s a situation where the tables have turned and a child is essentially having to parent a child.

Hansen-Løve delicately handles the topic with grace, even if it is a complicated journey for Sandra. While dealing with this family crisis, she randomly runs in to Clément (Melvil Poupaud). He’s an old friend and somebody to lean on. Adding another complex layer in to the story, Sandra really starts to fall in love with him and they spend more time together, but he is already in a relationship which causes additional heartbreak and confusion to Sandra’s life.

The film never passes judgement on Sandra for the decisions she makes, either for her own life or her father’s. It’s a quietly devastating story that will cause you to pause and wonder how you would handle these same scenarios.

There is something simultaneously effortless and exacting about how Mia Hansen-Løve tells her stories. She likes to introduce us to independent women who don’t always do the right thing, but they do what is best for themselves in the moment.

Seydoux’s performance is genuinely unforgettable. It’s hard to imagine anyone else being able to do justice to this character. You might also anticipate that this is a story that cannot have a happy ending, but the journey you take with ‘One Fine Morning’ is (thankfully) ultimately one of optimism and hope.


How to Watch Mia Hansen-Løve’s ‘One Fine Morning’

One Fine Morning‘ is available now to rent or buy across all digital platforms. The film has also been released on blu-ray & dvd from Sony Pictures Classics.

Looking for more movie recommendations? Check out our April streaming preview!

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