In Pursuit of Comfort: Exploring “More Than Ever”
Vicky Krieps and the late Gaspard Ulliel take center stage in “More Than Ever,” a poignant drama directed by Emily Atef that delves into the depths of a woman’s quest for solace in the face of impending death. The film revolves around Helene (Vicky Krieps), an individual living in Bordeaux, France, alongside her husband Mathieu (Gaspard Ulliel). Plagued by a rare and untreatable lung condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), Helene finds herself desperately seeking a way to find comfort and meaning amidst the uncertainties of her mortality.
A Journey of Hope and Discovery
As Helene navigates the depths of her illness, she stumbles upon a photoblog by Bent (Bjorn Floberg), another individual grappling with sickness, residing in idyllic solitude amidst the majestic mountains and serene lakes of Norway. Drawn to the tranquility portrayed in each photograph, Helene resolves to embark on a journey to Norway, craving solace and a reprieve from her tumultuous reality. Against Mathieu’s apprehensions, she musters the courage to venture alone, seeking refuge in the unfamiliar embrace of Bent’s abode.
The Poetic Cinematography of “More Than Ever”
In true European fashion, “More Than Ever” presents audiences with its distinct atmospheric ambiance, capturing the essence of the human experience through breathtaking cinematography. The skilled camerawork of Yves Cape masterfully captures the allure of the Norwegian landscape, with its vibrant foliage, majestic fjords, and snow-capped mountains. Engaging visuals, skillfully blending the beauty of nature with Helene’s character development, immerse viewers in an expansive second half. Notably, water emerges as a powerful motif, symbolizing Helene’s longing for inner peace, as she envisions herself tranquilly floating in a lake amidst the company of graceful seagulls.
The Captivating Performances
Vicky Krieps delivers an exceptional performance as Helene, portraying the disquietude that accompanies her dire circumstances with undeniable authenticity. Gasping for breath and dependent on an oxygen concentrator, Helene resists discussing her illness, resonating with a desire to navigate her disease on her own terms. Krieps’ nuanced portrayal showcases her remarkable talent, solidifying her position as one of the industry’s brightest stars.
Gaspard Ulliel, sadly departed before the release of the film, leaves a lasting impact through his portrayal of Mathieu, Helene’s unwaveringly supportive yet anxious husband. Ulliel masterfully conveys Mathieu’s love through understated but poignant gestures. Although unacknowledged within the film’s narrative, his frustration stems from his unwavering dedication to Helene. Bjorn Floberg also engages audiences with a compelling performance as Bent, Helene’s newfound friend from Norway, whose murky past as an oil rig worker harbors a secret.
Solace Amidst Mortality: A Profound Exploration
More than a mere representation of the human experience in the face of death, “More Than Ever” is a profoundly introspective drama that strives to uncover the fundamental need for solace as we contemplate our own mortality. Atef and Hubrich’s masterful script and the exceptional performances of the cast establish a poetic softness that beautifully captures the essence of the narrative without resorting to excessive melodrama.
While the initial half of the film holds its own, the second half shines brightly with serene cinematography that poses pertinent questions about the nature of solitude. It prompts viewers to question whether Helene’s newfound sense of peace arises from her physical presence in Norway or from the distance she creates from her husband.
As the story draws to a close, Helene and Mathieu reunite, embarking on a poignant conversation that strikes at the heart of their predicament. Helene urges Mathieu to move on, voicing how his unwavering presence intensifies the difficulty of her own departure. She poignantly explains, “When I see you, I see everything we used to be and everything we could have been. Everything we will never be again.” This heartrending conversation showcases the profound emotional journey the characters undertake, culminating in a thoughtful examination of mortality and its impact on relationships.
“More Than Ever” captivates audiences with its evocative exploration of seeking solace amidst the inevitability of one’s own mortality. The enchanting cinematography, captivating performances, and poetic storytelling combine to create a film that resonates deeply within the hearts of viewers. Emily Atef proves her directorial prowess once again, leaving an indelible mark on the poignant landscape of European cinema.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is “More Than Ever” based on a true story?
No, “More Than Ever” is a fictional narrative that explores the universal themes of seeking comfort and meaning in the face of death.
2. How does the cinematography contribute to the overall impact of the film?
The cinematography in “More Than Ever” is breathtaking, capturing the serene beauty of the Norwegian landscape. It enhances the storytelling by immersing viewers in the emotional journey of the characters, accentuating their experiences and inner turmoil.
3. What makes Vicky Krieps’ performance in “More Than Ever” exceptional?
Vicky Krieps’ portrayal of Helene in “More Than Ever” showcases her immense talent and versatility as an actress. She skillfully conveys the complexities of Helene’s emotions, from her physical struggle to her internal quest for autonomy and acceptance.
4. How does “More Than Ever” approach the topic of mortality?
“More Than Ever” approaches the topic of mortality with sensitivity and introspection. The film delves into the profound impact death has on individuals and their relationships, exploring themes of acceptance, solitude, and the quest for peace.
5. What is the release date for “More Than Ever”?
“More Than Ever” premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival on October 12, 2022. It is set to be released in the UK and Ireland by Modern Films on January 20, 2023.