- Golden Globe Awards
One Fine Morning (France)
In her eighth feature, One Fine Morning, filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve comes up with a deceptively simple drama: a poignant, quietly illuminating rumination on being a mother, daughter and lover in these times.
Hansen-Løve also wrote the deeply personal film, set in Paris, about a translator, Sandra (Léa Seydoux), who is a single mom to an eight-year-old (Camille Leban Martins), while trying to find a decent nursing home for her dad (Pascal Greggory), a former professor rapidly deteriorating from a neurodegenerative disorder. When Sandra runs into Clement (Melvil Poupaud), a married man with a son, the two old friends become lovers.
While One Fine Morning may have some parallels with her own life, Hansen-Løve stressed in interviews that it’s not autobiographical.
“There are things in the story that are inspired by my life but not more so than in my previous films,” the Paris-born director said in a Variety interview. “I know about illness — my father suffered a degenerative illness. After Bergman Island, I just felt compelled to make this film. It’s usually how it happens. I don’t make deliberate choices to make a film or another.
“Through this film, I wanted to process something that happened to me several times, where you come across the possibility to fall in love, just as you are grieving, and you’re drifting away from the pain. It brings great joy, and at the same time, some torments.
“Films talk about life, which can be cruel, but we need cruelty to feel alive. In Sandra’s case, she’s torn between the empathy she feels for her father and her own desires. She embarks on this new love to survive, to escape this shipwreck.”
On her cast, the director who began as an actress in Olivier Assayas’ films, then wrote for Cahiers du Cinema until she discovered her passion for directing, admitted in a Cinema Daily US interview: “Actually, to be honest, Pascal Greggory looks very much like my father. It’s different to me, the relationship I have with an actor who could be me or for the audience like an alter ego, the actor who is inspired by my father.
“I didn’t cast Lea Seydoux at all because she looked like me. She doesn’t, and I don’t think I ever tried to have her look more like me. Maybe she would say that she, in some ways, was inspired by me because, of course, she knew how close her character was to me and she was probably influenced by just watching me. That happens a lot in films.
But Hansen-Love admitted to Above the Line that she shot in several locations where her late father stayed: “Of course, it’s not like I only film in places that I know — that’s impossible — but [there are] two hospitals and two nursing homes. And three of the four were places [were] where my father [stayed], so I knew these places, and I shot in the very same rooms where he was.
“So, you [can] imagine how full of memories these places were for me, which sometimes felt a little bit heavy to carry when I was shooting but actually helped me to know how to film those things.”