The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [Le Premier Jour du Reste de Ta Vie]

"Essential"

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [Le Premier Jour du Reste de Ta Vie] Review


This exquisitely made French drama traces the life of a family through five key days over 12 years. It's a joy to watch, with vibrant characters, inventive direction and an emotional resonance that's both provocative and deeply moving.

In 1988, Robert and Marie-Jeanne (Gamblin and Breitman) are coming to terms with the fact that their eldest son Albert (Marmai) is moving into his own flat as middle son Raph (Grondin) turns 18. Over the years we also revisit them as rebellious daughter Fleur (Francois) turns 16 and follow relationships with various boys and girls as well as Robert's wine-loving father (Dumas). The family bond is strained and tested, including at least one ongoing feud, and yet there's an irresistible, indefinable connection, and a sense that they are discovering life together.

Writer-director Benzacon tells this story with plenty of snarky attitude and a lively, clever directorial style that keeps us glued to the screen. Edited together with wit and sensitivity, and scored with fantastic music, this expertly made film demonstrates real boldness in its use of both subtle surrealism and roaring comedy. And while he refuses to shy away from raw emotion, Benzacon never indulges in sentimentality.

There's never a false moment in the actors' performances, all of whom are perhaps a bit impossibly beautiful (family resemblance?). All five of the central actors find earthy honesty and multi-layered meaning as their characters grapple with love, purpose and mortality. And while there are moments that break our hearts, there are even more scenes that make us laugh out loud.

The film's anecdotal structure reveals events over the years that involve these family members both together and separately. Some sequences feel like deftly handled jokes, complete with punchlines, while others are small romances or tragedies. There's a running gag about Robert trying to quit smoking, a hilariously absurd conversation with a doctor about how he shares a name with a famous actor and a riotous air guitar competition. And when it emerges at the end with a moment of raw tenderness (plus a terrific final kick), we feel like we've lived a little more as a result of this film.



Facts and Figures

Production compaines: Mandarin Films, StudioCanal, France 2 Cinéma, Canal+, TPS Star

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Remi Bezancon

Producer: , Nicolas Altmeyer

Starring: as Robert, as Marie-Jeanne, as Fleur, as Raphaël, as Albert, Roger Dumas as Pierre, as Prune, Stanley Weber as Éric, Sarah Cohen-Hadria as Clara, Camille De Pazzis as Moïra, Aymeric Cormerais as Sacha, Jean-Jacques Vanier as Mathias Moreau, Philippe Lefebvre as Philippe, François-Xavier Demaison as Le docteur Marcaurel, as Le rasta blanc, Françoise Brion as La maîtresse du chien, Nina Rodriguez as Fleur 10 ans, Simon Cohen as Albert 12 ans, Raphaël Bouvet as Raphaël (young), Ophélie Koering as La prof de biolo, Jean-Louis Frémont as L'organisateur du concert

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.