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MOVIES (GFF 2022): Everything Went Fine - Review

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At what point do we consider a filmmaker like Ozon one of the most prolific – and the best - directors currently working? Few, maybe with the exception of Soderbergh – can make as many masterclasses as consistently as Ozon and his latest, Everything Went Fine, is a reminder of why he’s so brilliant. Completely versatile as ever he changes direction for a focus on 85-year-old André, played by André Dussollier, who is sick, half-paralyzed and in his hospital bed – asking his daughter Emmanuellle (Sophie Marceau), to end his life. It’s bleak, and a daunting dilemma for anyone to come face to face with the prospect let alone with that of your own father being on the line – and Ozon manages to get the most out of the narrative and turn it into something wholly unique - poignantly powerful.

Given the subject matter Ozon injects a surprising amount of effortless humour to piece – benefiting from the top notch performances by Dussollier and Marceau particularly. They play off each other well, you believe they’re father-daughter, and the dynamic carries much of the film even though there are at times in its 113 minutes when it can feel a bit laboured, like it would have been better off at a tighter 90 it still manages to pack a heavy human punch without weighing in on the euthanasia debate – instead opting to grapple how people in real life would react were they faced with such a choice. Ozon is the master of dramatizing events that feel real whilst maintaining a bit of magic to his work – Summer of 85, Frantz, Potiche and The New Girlfriend have shown us what he can achieve in the last decade alone – add By the Grace of God and more onto this and you have a master filmmaker at the top of his game, fully grasping the storytelling narrative without relying on the usual tropes that Ozon has deployed in the past.

It feels like a breather from the rest of his filmography and tackles all its themes well not afraid to pull its punches whilst managing to be something that caters towards a crowd, not entirely hostile and not entirely removed from reality – Ozon’s strong grasp of finding the right balance pays off and his mastery of tone is shone through. The film never feels tasteless or manufactured – and it hits plenty of emotional beats with this approach that’s helped by how natural it feels when tackling its subject matter. Ozon is smart enough to recognise when he has two brilliant leads in the film remaining unemotional behind but not in front of the camera - and to their credit, Sophie Marceau and André Dussollier succeed at understanding exactly what he wants to put to the screen – bringing multi-layered, multi-dimensional storytelling weight to their characters that make you see just how valuable your own life is.

Everything Went Fine will be released in UK and Irish Cinemas on June 17th.

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