The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life review

Get to know the Duval family

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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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Freelance Writer

Matt Glasby is a freelance film and TV journalist. You can find his work on Total Film - in print and online - as well as at publications like the Radio Times, Channel 4, DVD REview, Flicks, GQ, Hotdog, Little White Lies, and SFX, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film and Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting To This Is England.