In the cornucopia of contemporary French cinema, Francois Ozon’s “Everything Went Fine” (2021) stands out, a haunting and poignant portrayal of end-of-life decision-making. As we delve into the intricacies of this familial drama in its latest Blu-ray edition, we explore its significant contributions to French cinema and the compelling vision that Ozon brought to the film.
Sophie Marceau dominates every frame of Everything Went Fine
“Everything Went Fine” unravels the tale of Emmanuelle (Sophie Marceau), a woman grappling with her father André’s (André Dussollier) plea for euthanasia after a debilitating stroke. This film ventures into the uncomfortable corridors of morality, familial bonds, and the question of a dignified death. Ozon deftly exposes the viewer to a world where love is as much a source of agony as it is of comfort.
On Blu-ray, the film is a marvel to behold. The high-definition format amplifies the crispness of the visuals, intensifying the dramatic impact of the narrative. The meticulous sound design is also magnified in this format, the depth of each spoken word, the subtle ambient sounds, lending a visceral quality to the narrative.
The cinema of Euthanasia
“Everything Went Fine” marks a significant contribution to French cinema, not only in its treatment of euthanasia but in its exploration of the complex web of familial relationships. French cinema has long been recognized for its willingness to delve into topics that many other film industries shy away from. In exploring the deeply personal and controversial issue of euthanasia, the film extends this tradition, putting forward a challenging narrative that forces us to question our own beliefs and attitudes.
Francois Ozon’s directorial mastery is evident throughout the film. He steers the narrative with a subtle hand, never resorting to melodrama or sensationalism. His deft handling of such a sensitive topic is commendable, as he navigates through the ethical quagmire of euthanasia with a respectful, yet uncompromising, honesty.
Ozon’s contribution extends beyond his directorial skill. His script, though tackling a grim subject matter, is laced with moments of dry humor and gentle warmth that keep the narrative from becoming overwhelmingly bleak. His characters are etched with precision and empathy, their flaws and virtues making them all the more human and relatable. His delicate balance of empathy and objectivity in handling the topic at hand truly distinguishes his approach, one that leaves viewers both moved and contemplative.
Ozon matures with Everything Went Fine
“Everything Went Fine” can also be seen as a further progression in Ozon’s filmography. His propensity to probe the depths of human nature and relationships is once again on full display here. His films often hold a mirror to society, reflecting its beauty, its ugliness, and its complexities. In “Everything Went Fine,” he continues this tradition, but with a more personal and somber tone than some of his previous work.
The Blu-ray edition comes with limited to no special features. While I wish these World Cinema releases could get more special features, I understand the real battle is getting an American release. So, ultimately you have to balance out needs vs. wants.
To the international cinema fan, “Everything Went Fine” exemplifies the audacity and emotional depth of French cinema. The film’s exploration of a challenging topic marks it as a bold entrant in the international cinematic landscape. Ozon’s masterful direction and his ability to elicit powerful performances from his cast add another feather to the cap of French cinema.
Final thoughts on the Blu-ray
The Blu-ray edition of “Everything Went Fine” offers a captivating revisit to Ozon’s compelling examination of life, death, and the painful choices in between. The enhanced visual and auditory experience intensifies the narrative’s emotional pull, making it an essential addition to any film lover’s collection. It reminds us of the film’s unique contribution to French cinema and Ozon’s ability to deliver narratives that are as thought-provoking as they are emotionally stirring. “Everything Went Fine” serves as a stark reminder of the sometimes painful complexities of life and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of such challenges.