France, 2022, 104 min, Dir. Rebecca Zlotowski, Not Rated, In French with English subtitles, Music Box Films

Other People’s Children

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"A superb French drama ... Other People’s Children sneaks up on you, with a depth and complexity of feeling that throws those glossy, idyllic opening moments into bittersweet relief .... Deeply, stealthily affecting." —Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

"Critic's Pick! Romantic—tender, sexy, very French .... With delicacy and with a sympathetic if unsentimental gaze, Zlotowski has gathered together the story’s seemingly disparate, charming and aching pieces ... and turned these fragments of life into a life, one that’s as worth living as it is worth watching." —Manohla Dargis, New York Times

When dedicated high school teacher Rachel (Virginie Efira) falls in love with Ali (Roschdy Zem), it’s not long before she also falls for his 4-year-old daughter Leila. The adolescent giddiness of Rachel and Ali’s late night rendezvous and secret sleepovers evolves into the familiar warmth of family picnics and after-school pickups. Although she feels like a mother, Rachel is not allowed to forget that Lelia is another woman’s daughter. She begins to long for a child of her own, but as a forty-something woman, she is abundantly aware that she has limited time to begin a family. Rachel must decide whether to embrace the inherent entanglements of her current situation, including the looming presence of Ali’s ex-wife Alice (Chiara Mastroanni) or strike out again on her own. Other People’s Children becomes a soulful, sexy, and resolutely grown-up story of the elusive quest for agency and belonging.

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