That's Life (C'est La Vie) (2001)





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Movie Info

A festive outdoor wedding replete with a raucous medical-oriented fashion show (picture chic nurses waving giant syringes and doctors stylishly flaunting their white lab coats) is just one of the joyous events arranged by the wonderful, charismatic group living at a hospice for terminally ill cancer patients. Dmitri (Jacques Dutronc) is the newest arrival, a man in his late forties who looks far too young to die. With his hair coiffed into a shaggy rock-star look, and his gleaming azure eyes sparkling, it is hard to believe that Dmitri is counting down his last days of life. When he meets Suzanne (Caroline Bottaro), a gorgeous blond volunteer nurse, he feels one last pang for life and love, and with careful understanding she reciprocates. The setting of the hospice is a remarkably pleasant wooded area with rambling walking paths outside. Inside, there are comfortable rooms with big sunny windows and an expert chef--who is also dying--serving delightful meals. Children visit often, and music and singing and deep conversation abound. All in all, the hospice is a lovely place to die. Miraculous joviality and hope contrasts with deep sadness and inevitable defeat, and makes C'EST LA VIE a touching, though difficult, treasure.Directed by Jean-Pierre Ameris, C'EST LA VIE is an extremely sad film that gently coaxes and prods its viewers to try to understand, try to relate, and try to cope with death. Clear, affectionate cinematography and a moving score help to communicate this message. The film is based on the novel by Marie de Hennezel, LA MORT INTIME: CEUX QUI VONT MOURIR NOUS APPRENNENT A VIVRE.This film screened in New York City in April 2002 as part of the Avignon/New York Film Festival organized by the French Institute Alliance Francaise.
Art House & International , Drama
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Critic Reviews for That's Life (C'est La Vie)

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

C'est la vie encara lo inminente con valor y dignidad y nos enseña a arrancarle a la muerte de sus huesudos dedos, el último disfrute de vida.

November 14, 2002

Quote not available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for That's Life (C'est La Vie)


[img][/img]:fresh: :fresh: [font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]"C'est la vie"[/b] is one of those French films that makes me love French cinema. I did not really know Jean Pierre Ameris who not only directed this jewel but also co-wrote the book from which the movie is adapted.[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3]What strikes me in this movie is how realistic is the cinematography and how true is the acting.[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3]First of all the camera work here is remarkable: minimalist to the point, not at all "arty" as French movies can sometimes be. The color is also very well thought through. Overall the camera/filming serves the story, the drama and the actors...and that I like...[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3]The acting is top notch. Nobody is acting here. You've got the feeling that Mr. Ameris positioned his camera in order to capture a slice of life. This is the strength of Sandrine Bonnaire who is IMHO one of the best French actresses and one of the best actresses on this planet. I remember her in "Est-Ouest" (1999) where Regis Warnier (the director) got the best of her, I also remember her in "Sous le soleil de Satan" (1997) from the controversial Maurice Pialat. In all the movies she played in and the last one "Confidence trop intime" (from Patrice Leconte) is no exception she was/is on the top of her game. I also acknowledge her courage in her carrier choice and appreciate the fact that she never takes on an easy role. Her acting skill only equals her sincerity and therefore her beauty.[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3]Jacque Dutronc, a former French singer adds to the movie the charisma, the maturity and the sincerity that his character is all about. Don't forget he embodied Van Gogh in the 1991 Van Gogh from Maurice Pialat; he also played in "Toutes peines confondues" from the Polar maestro Michel Deville in 1992. In this movie he portrays with excellence a man who meets the end of the road…He succeeds in conveying dignity and manage to leave with us this feeling of profound humanity mixed with the bitterness that life is eventually about.[/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][b]In the middle of this "Hollywoody machinery" it is sometime refreshing to turn our eyes and our mind in other directions...French cinema sometimes delivers true jewels based not on the latest special effect but on the oldest human feelings..."C'est la vie" might very well be one of those jewels.[/b][/size][/font]

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