At the end of this year, I'm definitely going to make a list of my top ten 'chance discoveries'. And Le premier jour du reste de ta vie will be on it. I picked it up in a branch of Fnac when I was in Paris recently, as part of a boxset with Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas. I'd heard of the latter, but not this film. So I settled down to watch it with no expectations, and it was great.
Le premier jour... focuses on five pivotal days in the life of the Duval family: Robert and Marie-Jeanne and their children Albert, Raphael and Fleur. The story extends over some 12 years, with each of the five separate segments revolving around one family member. It's a simple enough concept, and rather than one overwhelming central 'issue', it's the smaller (though at times explosive) dramas of family life that drive the film.
As this year has gone on, I've become adept at spotting lesser known French actors who pop up again and again, and I've relished becoming familiar with such talents as Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Hesme and Fanny Ardant. However, it was refreshing in this film not to recognise a single face - and all five central performances are excellent.
That's all I want to say really... if you fancy a family drama with a few laughs along the way and (thankfully) no schmaltz, I'd recommend this film.