The film opens in New York on Friday and Los Angeles on April 21.
Beautifully layered and decked out with a stellar cast, It All Goes Well (Tout S’est Bien Passé) is the kind of mainstream commercial film that is entertaining and you don’t often see competing at the Cannes Film Festival. While the subject of euthanasia doesn’t usually imply reveling in movies, French director François Ozon delivers nonetheless, with the help of charming veteran actors, a wealthy filmmaker, and a shrewd and skilful treatment of the central emotional dynamics.
Shortly after father André (André Dussollier) suffers a debilitating stroke, the 85-year-old insists to his daughter Emmanuèle (Sophie Marceau) that he wants to end things on his own terms. He seems to be a borderline case, alternating between misery and a sort of eccentric wariness of his condition, but he nonetheless wants to drift into the unknown.
This naturally becomes the only subject for his family, including sister Emmanuèle Pascale (Geraldine Pailhas) and their mother Claude (Charlotte Rampling). Her personal life has clearly been centered around one man for a long time.
The film is based on the novel by Emmanuel Bernheim, and this complex emotional underpinning gives the film a fresh and nuanced perspective on the trials faced by various members of the family.
Despite his age and condition, old André was a man used to having his own way and started getting the ball rolling by telling Emmanuèle, “I need you to help me finish.” This includes careful investigations with an organization called The Right to Die With Dignity, because euthanasia is illegal in France. Hana Schygulla makes brief contact in a dark world where Emmanuèle and the others must work with great care.
But while his family is genuinely nervous about the situation, old André accepts the opportunity, albeit in a very civilized way, celebrating in the end with a magnificent dinner at his favorite restaurant. For a movie about impending death, this goes down easily.
Best remembered internationally for early hits like Under the Sand, Swimming Pool (both with Rampling) and 8 Women, Ozon’s prolific direction with cool, confident hands. The dramatic conclusion feels appropriate and should be left to Ozon, who does the trick to make the death of a man who was excited into a happy ending.
Title: everything is fine
Publisher: Cohen Media Group
Release Date: April 14, 2023 (New York)
Screenplay Director: François Ozon
Starring: Sophie Marceau, Andre Dusoulier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Filhaas, Hannah Schigula
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes