The Eighth Day

1996 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 9626

down syndrome

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 13, 2022 at 07:38 PM

Top cast

Daniel Auteuil as Harry
Miou-Miou as Julie
1.06 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 57 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by khatcher-2 9 / 10


For anyone with a moderate sensibility, a moderate feeling of the human and humane condition, for anyone capable of getting above the Hollywood ilk, for anyone who is satisfied seeing cinema which does not have a series of Seagals/Willis/Van Dammes blasting the brains out of anybody or seeing who gets into bed with whom, for anyone whose intellectual level reaches a capacity to grasp, sympathise with, comprehend, laugh WITH, cry WITH natural tender heart-warming hilarious compassionate HUMAN BEINGS, `Le Huitième Jour' is waiting for you. Jaco van Dormael has not achieved simply a masterpiece, that would have been too simplistic; he has achieved one of those rare monumental works of art in the cinematographic world which defies any kind of encapsuling. Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? No: it is the story of Georges, a wonderful funny pitiful laughable loving frightened beautiful personality, a sufferer of the Downes Syndrome. It is a story which has you laughing through your tears, but this is not one of those classic tear-jerkers; this film moves through a world that has you at once mixing your feelings of compassion or pity or even shame with those of admiration, warmth and even love. A successful banking salesman, Harry, bumps into Georges: they were both going in opposite directions with absolutely opposing ideas, problems and priorities; skillfully van Dormael melts these two unlikely men into a warm friendship, but which is so much more than the good buddy friendship of those having a beer down the road. This is a relationship which develops into a profound needing by both for the other. The cuasi-surrealist scenes fit in perfectly: Georges recalls (or invents) past scenes of his life while either day-dreaming or sleeping; even the almost phantasmagorical final scene is totally correct. The only scene which might be considered a little out of place is when they steal a bus and drive it out of the show-rooms. However, this does not detract from the whole. This film is a monument. Even if your French is not up to much, please bear seeing it with sub-titles. `Le Huitième Jour' is worth the trouble. As for anything else, well, just read the following commentaries – I go along with all of them. This film is a joy, it is majestic, it is unique. If you have seen `Rain Man' which I consider an excellent film, you must see this one: it is far superior because it has not the superficial veneer of famous Hollywood-produced world-renowned actors; it has Pascal Duquenne and Daniel Auteuil – TEN oscars for these two, and three more for Jaco van Dormael. Who cares…………? Yes: 11 out of 10 if the IMDb rating doesn't break down under the strain.

Magnifique! Chapeau!

Reviewed by dan-476 9 / 10

Original, refreshing, challenging, puts Rain Man in the shade

This is the French and Belgians doing what they do best. It's quirky, visually inventive, exhilarating and emotionally challenging storytelling. Director Jaco van Dormael takes us into the world of Georges, a Down's Syndrome sufferer and his quest for a meaningful relationship with someone, just anyone. This is not done in a patronising way but with a great sense of fun and also honesty. Georges' interplay with corporate management guru, Harry is dazzlingly handled - shifting from comedy to tragedy back to comedy again with breathtaking ease.

The Eighth Day puts similar Hollywood fare like Barry Levinson's Oscar winning Rain Man or Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump well and truly in the shade. At times, it evokes the humour of Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with shades of Dennis Potter thrown in for good measure.

As the emotionally blunted and desperately lonely yuppie, Harry, Daniel Auteuil turns in yet another sublime performance. But it is matched by the brilliant Pascal Duquenne as Georges. It's a movie with uniformly strong performances and so many, memorable set pieces - the shoe shop scene, car showroom scene, George's dance to Genesis's 'Jesus He Knows Me,' the conference scene, the fireworks scene. If you haven't seen it, there's only one thing to do. Just rent it or attend a screening at a retro cinema near you and see what you've been missing. Better still, buy this movie. Sheer genius.....

Reviewed by two-rivers 10 / 10

The Hazards Of Opting Out

On the eighth day God created Georges. But the same as an eighth day doesn't fit into the week, Georges doesn't fit into the modern world: He has Down syndrome and is therefore marginalized by society, shunted off to an asylum after his mother's death four years ago. She was the only one who loved him.

Harry is another man that isn't loved anymore. His wife has left him, for reasons that she is unable to explain. He loses the love of his daughters, too, when he arrives too late at the railway station to collect the two kids, who wanted to spend the weekend with their father.

Harry is a highly ranked businessman. He knows all the rules that enable us to succeed in our modern meritocracy. But he has entered a state of crisis, which reaches a climax after the loss of the love of his daughters. He questions the sense of his life, without obtaining any definite results.

Harry and Georges meet. At first Harry tries to get rid of Georges, the same as all the others do. But Georges can't be shaken off. And it gradually dawns on Harry, how much he needs Georges, if he wants to get over his identity crisis. It is Georges who opens a new access to the world for him and who makes him view his life with different eyes. Friendship and human warmth take the place of calculating striving for success. It is no surprise that Harry now cannot avoid failing in his job.

Georges helps Harry to regain the recognition of the daughters. Even his wife has to admit that the fireworks which he organized were worth seeing. Nonetheless a reintegration into the old life is no longer possible. And the new one turns out to be nothing more than a dream with a time limit, which unstoppably will reach its end. The camera watches Harry and Georges from above, for one long minute, as they are both lying down in the grass, just savoring the moment. But the same as this minute will unavoidably go by, the friendship of the two men, which came into being in such a wondrous fashion, will not be long-lasting. Georges is destroyed by the impossibility of love to the opposite sex and can see no other way out but to commit suicide. Harry turns into a city tramp, who asks the car drivers that are waiting in front of the traffic lights for charity.

The movie describes modern meritocracy as a disastrous mechanism which devours positive values such as human warmheartedness or friendship. It is Georges, the mongol, who seems to be capable of showing the way out of the dilemma, but unfortunately his plea comes to a bad end. However, his failure does not necessarily have to mean that it is impossible or not desirable to reach the aspired goal. The way he shows us is surely passable, although it requires a huge amount of willpower and, above all, the courage to apply a radical nonconformism.

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