Everything Went Fine (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Stuart Galbraith IV
  • Review Date: Oct 19, 2023
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
  • Bookmark and Share
Everything Went Fine (Blu-ray Review)


François Ozon

Release Date(s)

2021 (May 16, 2023)


Mandarin Films/Diaphana Distribution (Cohen Media Group)
  • Film/Program Grade: A
  • Video Grade: A
  • Audio Grade: A
  • Extras Grade: D

Everything Went Fine (Blu-ray)

Buy it Here!


Everything Went Fine (Tout s’est bien passé, 2021) is an excellent French drama written and directed by François Ozon that revolves around relationships with aging parents and the controversial subject of assistant suicide. Like Ozon’s other films, its direct, unflinching, and unsentimental approach is refreshingly honest.

Novelist Emmanuèle Bernheim (Sophie Marceau) receives a phone call that her 85-year-old father, wealthy art collector André (André Dussollier), has suffered a massive, debilitating stroke. At the hospital she finds him in a pitiful, partially paralyzed state, leaving Emmanuèle and her sister, Pascal (Géraldine Pailhas), uncertain what to do next. Though over the next few weeks André’s condition gradually improves in little ways, overall his quality of life has been irreversibly reduced to that of an invalid, so he asks Emmanuèle to make whatever arrangements are necessary for him to end his life via assisted suicide.

Based on Emmanuèle Bernheim’s memoir of the same name (she herself, a frequent Ozon collaborator, died of cancer in 2017 at 61), the film is subtly powerful and thought-provoking. It’s definitely not a film weighing the moral and religious ambiguities of assisted suicide, though it does dramatize that process in detail, with Emmanuèle reluctantly contacting a Swiss agency where she comes into contact with a retired magistrate/activist (Hanna Schygulla, from The Marriage of Maria Braun) who walks the family through the process, including its legal acrobatics.

Mostly though, those of us with aging and infirm parents will recognize so much in Everything Went Fine. Actress Marceau, best known outside of France for Braveheart and the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, is still beautiful but in her mid-50s, and much of Ozon’s film is about her coming to terms with her own aging, and how the sad decline of her father’s health likewise moves her that one key step closer to her own old age and mortality. (Emmanuèle wears contact lenses, and we see her swimming, at the gym, etc., staving off the inevitable.) Emmanuèle’s mother, a former sculptress crippled by Parkinson’s Disease and depression, is played by Charlotte Rampling, another great beauty from the past. Now pushing 80, through her Ozon again reminds his audience of unavoidable march of time.

The film is rich with insightful little touches. When André is able to eat solid food again, he takes a single bite out of Emmanuèle’s salmon sandwich before drifting off to sleep. Returning home, Emmanuèle saves the sandwich in the refrigerator and, later, in the freezer as a kind of organic memorial, as if asking herself “What if it’s the last real food he’ll ever eat?”

The family dynamic rings true throughout. Emmanuèle loves her father, but also recognizes his frequent cruelty and selfishness. One flashback has him harshly admonishing her, a little girl, for eating cake: “I see you’re stuffing your face again.” It’s exactly the kind of hurtful casual criticism that can haunt a child for the rest of their life. Being wealthy (and living in France, with its universal health care), the quality and expense of André’s care is never an issue (“What do poor people do?” he wonders), allowing the film to focus solely on how the robbing of all his independence drives André’s desire to “end it.” Again, the film doesn’t flinch at his loss of dignity; in one scene he shits himself in bed, but is too embarrassed to let the nursing staff know.

Conversely, the film finds moments of humor. André himself sees humor in the absurdities of little end-of-life issues. Toward the climax Emmanuèle arranges a clandestine ambulance ride to get André to Switzerland, but at one point her husband is unable to squeeze André and his wheelchair into a small elevator, forcing him to try and carry his much larger but helpless father-in-law.

The acting by all is in sync with the material, never overwrought or showy. So good are Marceau and Dussollier, as indeed everyone is, I was a little taken aback by just how powerful the film’s final scenes are.

Everything Went Fine is a Cohen Media Group release through Kino Lorber. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and apparently shot digitally, the image is very impressive throughout, up to contemporary technical standards, as is the French DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1 Surround), also offered in 2.0 stereo. The English subtitles are excellent, and the disc is Region “A” encoded. The lone extra is a trailer.

The picture will resonate strongly with middle-aged viewers with older parents especially. It’s honest and straightforward, and admirably unsentimental, addressing topics one rarely finds in American movies anymore. Highly Recommended.

- Stuart Galbraith IV