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The Little Bedroom
When Edmond (Michel Bouquet), a man quickly facing the loss of his independence, is placed in a care facility after taking a bad fall, he discovers that his son has sold his apartment. Determined to reclaim his autonomy, he leaves the care facility with Rose (Florence Loiret Caille), an empathetic nurse still suffering from the loss of her unborn child. She takes him into her home to allow him the measure of freedom he deserves. Through this new living situation they develop a bond, which helps them move forward with their lives. However, the unlikely friends must face the consequences when Edmond is reported missing.
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Credit should go to the directors Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond for crafting this work of cinema art in dealing with a sad, but bittersweet story of an aging man, Edmond, played brilliantly by Michel Bouquet, and his relationship with his caretaker, Rose, also played brilliantly by Florence Loiret Caille. The story starts out with Edmond have a difficult time with handling day to day chores in his apartment. Eventually, he falls and hurts himself. His son intervenes, sells his apartment, and places Edmond in a senior citizen nursing home, against his father's wishes.
Rose comes to the rescue, and takes Edmond to her apartment, and specially places him in a small bedroom, which she decorated for her expected child before she had a miscarriage late in her pregnancy and lost the child. Rose, however, was fired from the agency as caregiver, for crossing the objectivity subjectively line of proper behavior as a care giver.
This story works on different emotions and different perspectives on what it means to care for senior citizens and how they should be treated. Edmond is a cranky, diabetic who has a strong streak of independence, thus the reason why he didn't want to be institutionalized in the nursing home. During the movie he carries around with his a picture of him and his deceased wife when they were young.
Now he's no longer young, not even middle-aged, he has to handle life differently. He tries but his stubbornness, and his quest of independence interfere. Nonetheless, Rose has her own woes. She was looking forward to being a mother until her miscarriage. As an alternative, she treats the elderly Edmond like a child to make up for her lost.
In the end, this movie, which is in French, was worth watching. The scenic views of the Swiss Alps are quite spectacular, that's where Edmond and his deceased wife used to enjoy the most when they were young.
This story also involves Edmond's son, and Rose's husband, to fulfill the story. When Edmond fails to show up at the nursing home, his son files a missing person report. He has an inkling that his father is with the caregiver, Rose, but he's no buy with his work in the United States, he doesn't have the time to look fully into the relationship.
Unseen are the directors, who really set the tone for this sad tale of two suffering individuals. The movie is well paced, and the pertinent details are revealed with cinematic drama. The acting is excellent, yet I would have given the big prize to the directors for pulling off this emotionally charged drama into a story well told.
Slowly, the two become reliant on each other to embrace the lives they are each in at that moment; not was has been, or what may be...but facing all that is going on for each of them now.
For Rose (Florence Loiret Caille) the caregiver, the pain is held tangibly in a tiny infant's bedroom's lack of an occupant. For the elder in her part-time care, Edmond (Michel Bouquet) it is the loss of independence and the realization that his son is as distant as he'd made him (ala Cat's in the Cradle sad). And he is in need of round-the-clock assisted care.
But, as the two unlikely souls become friends the love between them will make your heart break and sing. Together, in their brief time together, they discover friendship, kindness, truth...the stuff life dishes out to all. But, as they discover,you have to let someone in to get to life's chewy center.
Beautifully acted and filmed, The Little Bedroom is an emotional powerhouse. But, that being said, it is a quiet crescendo that you are immersed in. Get this and see this.
French w/ subtitles