Movie Details

A couple trying to start their own business is driven apart when fate takes an unexpected turn, with a young child caught in the middle, in this drama from French filmmaker Cedric Kahn. Yann (Guillaume Canet) is a cook with plenty of talent and self-confidence; however, he's doesn't fare as well in terns of luck or common sense. Yann stops in at a restaurant in search of work and ends up chatting with Nadine (Leila Bekhti), a lovely waitress of French and Lebanese heritage. Yann and Nadine fall head over heels for each other, and he soon moves in with her and her nine-year-old son Slimane (Slimane Khettabi). Yann and Nadine believe they should make their own opportunities, so they buy a rustic old house in the country with the intention of turning it into a restaurant. Since Yann doesn't have the savings to buy the building and do the renovations out of pocket, he takes out a series of loans; when it takes far longer than anticipated to get their business off the ground, Yann and Nadine find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt that brings out the worst in both of them. Tired of the squabbling over their financial problems, Nadine leaves France and takes a job in Canada, promising to send for her boy as soon as possible. Months later, Yann is still struggling to stay afloat as he deals with the possibility that Nadine may never come back and Slimane is his responsibility from now on. Une Vie Mielleure (aka A Better Life) was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi