Other People's Children
Virginie Efira shines in a drama that broaches a rarely dealt with topic – the bond that grows between a child and their parent’s new partner.
Rachel has no children of her own. She has been with Ali (Roschdy Zem) just a short time. Their life is good, but her relationship with his five-year-old daughter Leila (Callie Ferreira-Goncalves) has flourished. So much so that people assume she is the girl’s mother, even commenting on the striking resemblance between them; Rachel rarely corrects anyone, and when she does, she appears unwilling to. The pair’s bond proves so strong in such a short amount of time, even the girl’s mother, Alice (Chiara Mastroianni), appears happy with the amount of responsibility Ali has passed on to his new girlfriend. And yet, the situation remains precarious for Rachel and Leila, and Ali’s attitudes cause both to question where they stand in this complex family dynamic.
Rebecca Zlotowski’s understated yet hugely accomplished film engages with modern relationships from a perspective – that of the new partner in a fractured familial environment – which is rare, refreshing and quietly revelatory. The cast are uniformly superb, with Efira (Benedetta, An Impossible Love) once again excelling as a woman exploring her options at an age when some will soon no longer be available to her.