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The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life review

Like a mini-Magnolia but, dare we say it, featuring a few less frogs, Rémi Bezançon’s if-these-walls-could- talk drama charts five formative days in the lives of the Duval family between 1988 and 2000.

From harassed dad – yes – Robert ( Jacques Gamblin) to youngest daughter Fleur (Déborah François), each Duval gets to head up their own segment, while the rest flit in and out, a neat narrative strategy that allows the viewer intimate access to their hopes, dreams, loves and losses – not to mention front-row seats at various weddings, funerals and get-togethers.

If it all sounds a bit too much like flicking through someone else’s photo albums, well… it is.

But the sprawling, ever-changing seasons of family life – by turns funny, sad and shiversome – are so beautifully conveyed by Bezançon and his cast that even the flintiest of heart should leave the cinema with a knowing smile.

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