They are cute, and Andrei mumbles happily when he sees the ambulance drivers. He is 85 years old, and his whole life has been a matter of form and style, including his confessions of desire. The two boys will lead him to Bern, where an old woman, all in black, is waiting for him to get the last act. Andrei had a stroke, he is severely restricted in his movement and wants to die by self-determination in the film “All is well”.
In Bern, he will use an organization for euthanasia, and assisted suicide, which is not prohibited by law in Switzerland, unlike France and most other countries. François Ozon filmed the facts of this death with advertisement two years earlier, and his film was in competition in Cannes. In the meantime, he has already directed the next film “Peter von Kant”, which opened the Berlinale this year.
After the stroke, Andrei’s right side was paralyzed, he could no longer use his hand, his eyelids and half of his mouth were pulled down, only the sad rolling of his eyes gave movement and expression to his face. Helpless and afraid of dementia attacks and a miserable death. He wants to define his end. A matter of form… “Help me finish it,” Andre groans effortlessly, holding the hand of his daughter, Emmanuel, sometimes called Manu, played by Sophie Marceau, who stands by the sick bed.
The father is Andre Bernheim, a bourgeois and art collector and a pedophile – he never hid it. Played by André Dussolier with enjoyment and according to all the rules of art, he is self-centered and self-pitying, a whimper and a whiner who loves to snore like a spoiled child. Sometimes a chatty laugh escapes him, which is a sign of uncomfortable glee. When the euthanasia nurse from Switzerland tells him he has to go to Bern for his punishment, he immediately frowns and grumbles that Paul Klee’s status there is somewhat exaggerated.
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Daughter Emmanuèle is a successful writer, her life is well organized, Pléiade volumes come in handy at her desk, she swims regularly, runs in the gym or punches with a sandbag to let off steam. Shocked at her father’s request, she wept her hand away, then wanders aimlessly through the city and at night comes across a fenced sports field where some boys are playing basketball under the floodlights… Such is life in this pure moment. At home, she plays the piano sonata by Brahms.
In 2013, Emmanuel Bernheim wrote a book about the free death of her father and the procedure involved, and suggested that François Ozon make a film of it. She has co-wrote screenplays for Ozone films, from “Under the Sand” to “Swimming Pool” to “Ricky”. Ozon did not want to write the book at the time, so director Alain Cavalier got the rights to a free copy, and wanted to play the father himself, and the author had to play his own. The writer contracted cancer and died in 2017, Cavalier created the documentary “Être vivant et le savoir” from the material. After her death, Ozon took up the book again and made his film.
There are no mourners, that’s what a father asks for his death
As a father, Andre is a disaster, he thinks his daughters, especially Emmanuel, are poor and inept – they can’t even read maps – and make up mean stories about them. His wife, Claude de Soria, lives a parallel life beside him, making concrete sculptures that look lively and likable. She plays Charlotte Rampling, who was also in the Ozone films “Under the Sand” and “Swimming Pool”, and when she visits the man in the hospital, her face is petrified. She is depressed, and seems to have made herself independent of all reactions – the homosexual fantasy about the character of today’s mother.
Hana Schigula, who comes from Zurich as a negotiator for the organization, immediately closes impressive motherhood. Are there people, whom Emmanuel wants to know, who have come to Bern and decided not to die at the last moment? He was there, and he tells Shigulla of a man who took his wife to Berne and bought her a red dress the night before … And when he saw her in that dress, he changed his mind. Be alive and know about it…
No wails, that’s what the father has been emphatically demanding for the past few weeks. Therefore, after a short period of shock, Emmanuel and her sister Pascal (Geraldine Belhas) approached the problems very objectively – pragmatic aesthetics, says Sophie Marceau of the Sisters. In all his films, Ozon plays melodramatic forms, sometimes lightly, here somewhat seriously – but the suspense of euthanasia has many small funny moments.
The Parisian bourgeoisie celebrates itself to the end, its dream of life and death is a solo act, self-determination, and immortality are guaranteed. Adorno sarcastically notes in his Aesthetics that “the idea of the duration of works was conceived on the basis of property, bourgeois, ephemeral classifications.” At the Last Supper before the flight to Bern, Emmanuel is dressed in a red dress, but Andre looks only at the food and dessert and at the waiter Thierry. The two sisters cannot accompany their father on the trip, Emmanuèle watches a scattered horror movie that evening.
When the sisters initially pick up the father and take him to a better clinic, the sisters meet their roommate in the corridor, who is now allowed to go home again. Emmanuèle says goodbye to him and leaves, and the camera stays on the man pushing his walk down the aisle for a while… into a different, oppressive isolation.
Tout s’est bien passé2022 – Directed and written by François Ozon. Based on the book by Emmanuel Bernheim. Camera: Hisham Alaoui. Editing: Laure Gardet. With: Sophie Marceau, André Dussollier, Geraldine Belhas, Charlotte Rampling, Eric Caravaca, Hana Shigulla, Gregory Jadebois, Jacques Nolot, Judith Magri, Natalie Richard. Alamoud 114 minutes. Theatrical release: April 14, 2022.