During his lifetime: actors in a state of grace in a poignant drama

REVIEW / FILM REVIEW – How to live knowing that there are only a few months left? This is the painful question asked by Emmanuelle Bercot in “De son vivant”, a drama led by a formidable Benoît Magimel and Catherine Deneuve.

In his lifetime : the last months of a convict

Four seasons and not one more. This is what remains to be experienced for Benjamin (Benoît Magimel). Near his forties, this theater teacher learns that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. No cure is possible. From the start of the film, he learns that death strikes him early. His mother (Catherine Deneuve) accompanies him in this terrible ordeal, initially refusing to admit that no other outcome is possible.

[display-posts orderby="comment_count"]

Thanks to the work of an oncologist (Gabriel Sara) and his team, Benjamin will be put in the best conditions to apprehend the last months of his life. In In his lifetime, Emmanuelle Bercot leaves no room for any misplaced suspense on the outcome that awaits us. No movie miracle will take place and we must immediately accept that we follow a convict for two hours.

Of His Alive © Les Films du Kiosque

A melo that assumes

The alleged program is cause for concern if Benjamin’s Stations of the Cross turns into continual tearing. A risky choice, especially when you know that popular French cinema likes to take out the violins and play good feelings in this case. There is necessarily a great place given to emotion in In his lifetime with this description of what is an announced end of life in palliative care. Emmanuelle Bercot mania a few big strings and an unbalanced sense of symbolism to set our tear apparatus in motion. The place of the son abandoned by Benjamin is, for example, a narrative line that we could have done without. The artificiality of several cogs weighs down the whole but, even being aware of the facilities, mayonnaise takes.

In his lifetime
Of His Alive © Les Films du Kiosque

The director has no problem to assume the emotional amplitude of his story and we feel her at ease with her note of intention. By refusing finasserie, she tackles the question of death head-on and sensitively develops the twists caused by an incurable disease. The film is never more beautiful than when it speaks the role of medical personnel to make lighter a battle lost in advance. In his lifetime shows a touching humanity at this level. Using a partly didactic approach, we understand the difficulty of supporting a patient and his relatives in these last moments.

A formidable cast

Emmanuelle Bercot succeeds in her bet to move us and she owes her casting a great debt. The immense Catherine Deneuve lives up to her legend as a worried mother, let it be said. However, we want to applaud a sparkling Benoît Magimel. Never outrageous in a very delicate role, he always falls right in his game and holds one of the great roles of his career.

He never gives the impression of running after a prize and yet deserves to be given one to reward him for this extraordinary composition. Faced with these two confirmed actors, the real surprise of the cast is called Gabriel Sara. This true oncologist embodies his own role and absolutely does not deserve for its first appearance in the cinema. Its gentleness, its principles and its methods create a feeling of truth which supplants the clumsiness of a sometimes prefabricated fiction.

In his lifetime by Emmanuelle Bercot. In theaters November 24, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.

[display-posts orderby="rand"]

Leave a Comment