Mia Hansen is a fan of films with autobiographical undertones.Løve wrote and focused her eighth feature film on the degenerative disease that gradually made her father disappear. A nice morning consists of one Double plot that mixes the drama of the end of life with the passion of a forbidden affair. “A way to show that sometimes life can confront us with situations completely opposite”, comments the 41-year-old director, who premiered her film at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight in May. Maintenance.
Franceinfo Culture: “Un beau matin” addresses the pain and sadness of illness and at the same time stages the rebirth and happiness of love. Why did you decide to do this double reading?
Mia Hansen-Love: I could never make a film that only deals with the dark side of life. This film attempts to report with clarity and transparency what is tragic and incurable about the disease and the resulting suffering. But its realization only became possible when another idea came along. It comes from observing life as it always tilts to one side. Life can seem downright dark or cruel at times, but there’s always something that surprises us. That interested and inspired me. Some filmmakers like to make viewers miserable, sometimes with very strong results. But me, it will never be my cinema project.
In your films you often tell stations of your own story. How did the need to stage your father’s degenerative disease come about?
I had to resign myself to the fact that I wouldn’t get anywhere without addressing this topic. It’s like something got in my way. As I projected myself into the future about what I wanted to write, something came back, something that haunted me. I couldn’t cut it. There are films that I decided to make that I wanted, like Norman island Where Edenand then there are films that forced themselves on me, like this one.
“There is an emotion in Léa Seydoux that is never artificial. Few actresses of her generation can do that.”Mia Hansen-Love
Did you find yourself through Léa Seydoux’s interpretation?
There is great strength in Léa. She embodies both an eminently feminine presence and at the same time something almost masculine about herself, a power, a very strong attraction. I don’t feel like I look like Léa at all and if I’m offering her the role it’s because I know she has the talent to find her way into the character. But for me it is also the desire to free myself from what I am and to approach her and what she embodies. There is an emotion about her that is never fabricated or invented. I know few actresses of her generation in France who are able to do that. It’s like she has a sadness within her that comes naturally and brings so much truth and simplicity to her acting. She already has great filmography, she has worked with many directors, has a lot of experience … but she has retained an innocence that overwhelms me. And it’s priceless.
Pascal Greggory very accurately plays the role of a man gradually losing his sight, memory and sanity. Were you touched by his performance?
I found Pascal reeling in his self-sacrifice. It was literally erased to make room for the character. In the film we forget Pascal. We owe that to his humility, his ability to listen, his attention to the staging and the trust he placed in me, which allowed us to work in perfect harmony. He was touched by this character, he saw beyond the illness everything that this Georg could have been, this man who was an intellectual, delicate, humble and melancholy, and he conveyed all this in a very subtle way.
Do you have this fear of old age yourself?
I fear illness more than growing old. Since I was very close to my father’s illness – and I know that many other degenerative diseases resemble it – yes, I find it frightening. And making this film is also a way for me to tame fear. I’m less scared now after making this film, I’m less scared after witnessing so much of the ordeal related to this disease so closely. But film and cinema in general allow me to tame life and its fears and therefore the fear of illness.
A Beautiful Morning by Mia Hansen-Løve. Starring Lea Seydoux, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, Nicole Garcia. Duration: 1h52. Theatrical release Wednesday, October 5th.