The Eighth Day
<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysFor sales executive Harry (Auteuil), life has gone terribly wrong: he's so caught up in the system, his wife (Miou-Miou) and kids have left, and happiness eludes him. One rainy night, he closes his eyes, takes his hands off the steering wheel - and runs over a dog belonging to Georges (Duquenne), a Down's syndrome fugitive from an institution who's searching for his (dead) mother. As Harry searches for somewhere suitable to dump the chaotically unpredictable Georges, his initial grumpiness and prejudice turns to understanding and affection, revived by his charge's spontaneity, innocence and warmth. After a visually gorgeous, brilliantly executed opening, which evokes through a bizarre creation myth Georges' skewed but beautiful perceptions of the world, Van Dormael's follow-up to Toto the Hero slowly but surely turns into something altogether more conventional, simplistic and, regrettably, sentimental. The contrast between the emotional riches of Georges' life and the dessicated orderliness of Harry's world is often trite, and the plotting frequently implausible. Clearly Van Dormael has a huge heart and a fertile imagination, but here he seems too close to his subject for the film's good.