Film Scouts Reviews

"Le Huitième jour (The Eighth Day)"

by Lisa Nesselson

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May 19, 1996

Capsule Review:

Audiences are pretty evenly divided between the sound of applause and the sound of retching when it comes to this wildly uneven exploration of the unlikley bond between a harried Belgian businessman (Daniel Auteuil) and the not-all-that-endearing Down's Syndrome-afflicted man he becomes saddled with during a crucial week in his persoanl and professional life. Van Dormael, whose first film was "Toto le Heros" wouldn't know plausible timing if it sat in his lap. That said, there are some wonderful visual digressions and flights of pure imagination that make it impossible to dismiss Van Dormael. For example, in the wake of "Babe" who would have thought there would be another movie in which a mouse sings a solo?

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