7.6/10
8,413
39 user 18 critic

The Eighth Day (1996)

Le huitième jour (original title)
An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.

Director:

Jaco Van Dormael
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Auteuil ... Harry
Pascal Duquenne ... Georges
Miou-Miou ... Julie
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Le directeur de la banque
Isabelle Sadoyan Isabelle Sadoyan ... la mère de Georges
Michele Maes Michele Maes ... Nathalie (as Michèle Maes)
Fabienne Loriaux Fabienne Loriaux ... la soeur de Georges - Fabienne
Alice van Dormael Alice van Dormael ... Alice
Juliette Van Dormael ... Juliette
Marie-Pierre Meinzel Marie-Pierre Meinzel ... La vendeuse du magasin du chaussures
Sabrina Leurquin Sabrina Leurquin ... La serveuse du snack
Laszlo Harmati Laszlo Harmati ... Luis Mariano
Alain Bougnet Alain Bougnet
Magali Cote Magali Cote
Jean Désert Jean Désert
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Storyline

Georges has Down's syndrome, living at a mental-institution. Harry is a busy businessman, giving lectures for young aspiring salesmen. He is successful in his business life, but his social life is a disaster since his wife left him and took their two children with her. This weekend his children came by train to meet him, but Harry, working as always, forgot to pick them up. Neither his wife nor his children want to see him again and he is driving around on the country roads, anguished and angry. He almost runs over Georges, on the run from the institution since everybody else went home with their parents except him, whose mother is dead. Harry tries to get rid of Georges but he won't leave his new friend. Eventually a special friendship forms between the two of them, a friendship which makes Harry a different person. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | UK

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$328,452
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The musical score was composed by director Jaco Van Dormael's brother Pierre van Dormael. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Harry: On the eighth day, God created Georges. And he saw that it was good.
See more »


Soundtracks

L'Amour est un bouquet de violettes
Music by Francis Lopez
Lyrics by Mireille Brocey
Performed by Luis Mariano
See more »

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User Reviews

A touching film for good natured souls
11 August 2007 | by Gordon-11See all my reviews

This film is about the unlikely friendship between a businessman and a man with Down Syndrome.

The character development in this film is excellent. We get to believe that Harry is a businessman who neglects his family, and Georges is an innocent man who craves loving and care from the "normal" society. Acting is excellent, and the Cannes best actor award is well deserved.

The fantasy scenes in the film highlights the fact that Georges misery towards his abandonment by his family, and his desire to be treated like a normal person. The song that gets played repeatedly also reinforces this message. The film shows that people who are mentally handicapped are good natured. We have been treating them with discrimination and neglect, a fact that is highlighted by the scene where Georges gives a present to the waitress in the kitchen). If we get to understand and share these people's world, both we and the mentally handicapped can become very happy.

I was so drawn into the film and the characters' emotional experiences. It is a touching film for good natured souls.


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