Two unlikely friends — a supply teacher and a lonely young boy suspended between two estranged parents — embark on a weekend motorcycle voyage full of surprises and unforeseen consequences in this surprisingly tough, unsentimental drama from acclaimed French actress and director Nicole Garcia.

Special Presentations

Going Away

Nicole Garcia

This is an exquisite, deeply affecting, and unlikely love story of great resonance that gains in momentum with every passing sequence. Un beau dimanche is sublimely detailed and complex, structured to reveal its secrets gradually, gaining in emotive strength as it does.

It all starts from the simplest of premises. One day a supply teacher befriends a young boy waiting alone outside school for a parent who is late for pickup. When the teacher, Baptiste, extends a helping hand to young Mathias, neither can imagine where this gesture will lead.

Their voyage is magical, full of surprises and unintended consequences, and director Nicole Garcia does a superb job negotiating a storyline that she invests with a direct, unsentimental tone. Not that her film is devoid of emotion, even romance — but when these arise, they are treated with a beautiful simplicity that becomes the hallmark of this persuasive work.

It transpires that Mathias is suspended between two estranged parents. His father has forgotten that this is his weekend with his son, and Baptiste ends up looking after the boy. What follows is a journey of discovery and reconciliation. Mathias goes in search of his mother, and she will be the key to unlocking secrets buried in the distant past.

Two disconnected drifters, suspicious of attachment, wary of commitment, become fellow travellers. Their worlds could not be more different. One lives in chaos and uncertainty, the other is in retreat from life. The attractions of Un beau dimanche lie not only in its narrative pleasures, but in the superb performances by Louise Bourgoin and Pierre Rochefort, and a fine cameo by the incomparable Dominique Sanda.

PIERS HANDLING

Screenings

Sun Sep 08

TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Regular
9:30pm
Mon Sep 09

Scotiabank 4

Industry
9:00am
Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 1

Regular
4:45pm
Wed Sep 11

Scotiabank 10

Industry
8:45am
Sat Sep 14

TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
12:30pm