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The Crack Magazine

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More Than Ever

Director: Emily Atef

Stars: Vicky Krieps, Gaspard Ulliel, Bjørn Floberg

Vicky Krieps follows up her dazzling turn in royal period drama ‘Corsage’ in this low-key and affecting drama, rendered even more poignant by the recent death of her co-star Gaspard Ulliel at the age of thirty-seven in a skiing accident. She is Hélène, a thirty-three year old woman who lives in Bordeaux with her husband Mathieu (Ulliel). Her life is upended when she is diagnosed with a rare lung disease. There is a possibility of a transplant operation with a 50% chance of success, but she decides not to undergo it. Despite support from her friends and partner, she feels isolated and lost how to respond to her new circumstances. Then she comes across a Norwegian blogger called Mister who is unsentimentally chronicling his illness mainly via images, and an online friendship develops. Attracted to the beautiful landscape, and finding comfort in her newfound friendship, Hélène decides to go to Norway leaving her husband behind. After her picturesque train journey, beautifully rendered by cinematographer Yves Cape, she discovers the elderly Mister, real name Bent (Floberg), is not what she anticipated. Impressed by her directness and tart humour, she decides to stay anyway. Atef’s drama eschews a triumph-of-the-spirit narrative, in favour of a bracingly clear-headed but sensitive look at an individual attempting to navigate her situation with grace and dignity. Hélène is not some idealised tragic victim; rather a woman in extraordinary circumstances making decisions that are best for herself, which potentially exclude friends and loved ones. Krieps’s luminous performance ensures the audience stays on board, despite the harrowing situation.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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