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From Tears to Joy: a Cinematic Portrayal of the Highs and Lows of Family

A Family for 1640 Days (La Vraie Famille)/The Family


Genre: Drama
Year Released: 2021
Runtime: 1h 40m
Director(s): Fabien Gorgeart
Writer(s): Fabien Gorgeart
Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Lyès Salem, Félix Moati
Language: French w/English subtitles
Where To Watch: Available streaming and on DVD from

RAVING REVIEW: Prepare for an emotional journey with A FAMILY FOR 1640 DAYS. Director Fabien Gorgeart's poignant storytelling explores the complexities of family and separation with a touch of melodrama that will tug at your heartstrings. Drawing inspiration from his own experiences, Gorgeart offers a balanced approach to the meaning of family and attachment in this remarkable film.

The film's prologue, set during a summer holiday, offers glimpses of some of life's happiest moments. Anna, Driss, and their three children play together in a park, enjoying the sunshine and each other's company. Later, they dance the night away with friends, creating joyful memories contrasting sharply with the following heartbreak.

The film delves into the themes of attachment and what it means to be family. As the school year begins, Anna and Driss face the prospect of Simon's biological father coming into the picture and potentially destroying the family they’ve created. Through Anna's perspective, we experience the complexities of separation's emotional turmoil and familial ties. This film hit home for me; as an adoptive parent, I can’t even fathom what it would feel like.

Gorgeart's balance within the film offers each actor a prominent place in the story, with Gabriel Pavie, Lyès Salem, and Félix Moati all delivering top-notch performances. Mélanie Thierry's performance as Anna is a standout, and she brings a heart to the film that ties it all together.

The film touches on the flaws in the system, raising questions about the disconnect between decision-makers and the real-life consequences of their choices. I’ve heard struggles others have gone through where the child's well-being becomes secondary to the bureaucracy's determined answer. Unfortunately, this problem has faced the adoption world for as long as it has been around. Until the red tape can be redirected and the children's best interests put at the forefront, this will continue to reflect the natural world in an unfortunate reality. 

In conclusion, A FAMILY FOR 1640 DAYS is a touching and remarkable work that will leave viewers emotionally moved. I appreciate the depths at which the story looks beyond just the moments on screen and looks into the problems that the real world faces as a parallel. The film captures life's happiest memories, heartbreaks, and more that come with family, offering a balanced and poignant view of our world.

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[photo courtesy of DISTRIB FILMS/ICARUS FILMS]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.