The story arc from his diagnosis to his death doesn't cover much ground in Romain's life. But his emotional landscape -- the conflicts, the anger, the sadness, the acceptance -- offers much more depth.
The entire film is a balancing trick, with scenes of potential banality redeemed at the last by a subtle twist or subversion. In their conflicted expressions, the performers prove themselves experts at their own high-wire acts.
Ozon's drama offers no rousing speeches about living to the fullest, or heartfelt soliloquies on the nature of existence, only a bitterly honest admission that death happens to everyone and there is no use trying to stop it.