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Nos vies heureuses

Our Happy Lives

A tightly woven ensemble piece, director Jacques Maillot’s Nos vies heureuses follows the intertwining stories of six characters whose lives intersect through friendship, love and suffering.

As the film begins, Julie (Marie Payen) is released from hospital following a suicide attempt and Ali (Samy Bouajila) has just come to France from Morocco to follow his studies. Emilie (Camille Japy) and her boyfriend, meanwhile, are in the midst of a break-up, Lucas (Jean-Michel Portal) is busy finding himself, Cecile (Cecile Richard) is struggling with boredom and militant Catholic Jean-Paul (Eric Bonicatto) is keeping the faith. Each has to map out his or her own future, even though their destinies are linked. ‘If Nos vies heureuses has one ambition,’ Maillot has said, ‘it’s to make an elegy of some people whom
I believe I know and to transform them into heroes of fiction in order to do justice to their beauty.’ As one critic wryly observed, the film is perhaps best described as ‘The Big Chill a la Française.’

France, 1999.
English subtitles.
Colour.
Dolby digital stereo.
140 mins.

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