Review: ‘Everything Is Fine’

A teenager struggles to come to terms with his best friends' suicides in this morose but impressive drama.

A teenager struggles to come to terms with his best friends’ suicides in the morose but impressive drama “Everything Is Fine,” a feature debut for Canuck docu and commercials helmer Yves-Christian Fournier. Strongly redolent of work by Larry Clark and Gus Van Sant, pic builds a convincing portrait of disaffected youth living in a miserable-looking corner of Quebec. Fests should find “Everything” fine if not dandy, but distribution prospects will be limited outside Canada.

When four friends of 16-year-old Josh (Maxime Dumontier, brooding) do themselves in nearly simultaneously, leaving no explanation, he denies knowing anything about a suicide pact. Although he’d rather not discuss it all with his shrink (Pierre-Luc Brillant), some kind of survivor’s guilt compels him to seek out the company of the grief-stricken father (Normand D’Amour, outstanding) of one late friend and the sexy ex-g.f. (Chloe Bourgeois) of another. Script by novelist Guillaume Vigneault bravely opts to leave a lot unexplained by the end, but relies a little too much on flashback. While running time is too long, unsettling use of sound is top-notch. Deliberately light-flared, slightly overexposed lensing is also striking, and perfs are strong.

Everything Is Fine

Canada

Production

An Alliance Atlantis release of a GO Films production. (International sales: Seville Pictures, Montreal.) Produced by Nicole Robert. Executive producer, Martine Beauchemin. Directed by Yves-Christian Fournier. Screenplay, Guillaume Vigneault.

Crew

Camera (color), Sara Mishara; editor, Yvann Thibaudeau; music, Patrick Lavoie; art director, David Pelletier; costume designer, Carmen Alie. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 10, 2008. Original title: Tout est parfait. French dialogue. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Maxime Dumontier, Chloe Bourgeois, Normand D'Amour, Maxime Bessette, Jean-Noel Raymond-Jette, Niels Schneider, Sebastien Bergeron Carranza, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Anie Pascale.

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