The Eighth Day

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For 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.

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Screenwriter: Jaco Van Dormael
Cast: Daniel Auteuil
Pascal Duquenne
Miou-Miou
Henri Garcin
Isabelle Sadoyan

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|2
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Hilary

I saw this film in 1996 and it made a lasting impression on me. A real feel good film that reminds us to stop and think about what is important in life.

Hilary

I saw this film in 1996 and it made a lasting impression on me. A real feel good film that reminds us to stop and think about what is important in life.