Other People’s Children wrestles with some very tricky life experiences: bonding with a partner’s child in the agonizing knowledge that that attachment is entirely contingent on the fate of your romantic relationship; being a woman of a certain age and wanting a child but becoming keenly aware of the ticking of your body clock. For all the sharp points of pain the movie zones in on, though, there is remarkable cheerfulness in it, too. Writer-director Rebecca Zlotowski captures a wide spectrum of mood here, fusing lighthearted laughs and swooning romance with bitter disappointments and grief in a way that feels organic to life itself. The buoyant moments don’t undermine the sincere, intelligent consideration given to Rachel’s (Virginie Efira) perspective as a woman navigating a situation for which there are no real rules, and vice versa — because the film considers her as a whole from the outset. Neither reducing Rachel to her childlessness nor ignoring its emotional impact on her, this is a deeply empathetic movie that never questions the completeness of its protagonist’s life.
Actor: Antonia Buresi, Callie Ferreira-Goncalves, Chiara Mastroianni, Fadila Belkebla, Frederick Wiseman, Guillaume Verdier, Mireille Perrier, Roman Kolinka, Roschdy Zem, Sébastien Pouderoux, Virginie Efira, Yamée Couture
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski