More Than Ever review – dying Vicky Krieps acts up a storm in end-of-life drama
Krieps and the late Gaspard Ulliel bring great conviction and intelligence to this unlikely tale of a woman’s last adventure
Here is a painful, intimate, impeccably acted if not entirely plausible drama of terminal illness with an extra-textual layer of sadness and irony. The estimable Vicky Krieps plays Hélène, who is dying of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (a rare lung disease) and her partner is becoming her carer: this is Matthieu, played by Gaspard Ulliel – who died in a skiing accident shortly after this film was completed. Director Emily Atef dedicates the movie to him in the closing credits.
The agonising, debilitating nature of the disease takes its toll on the couple and their friends and family who have no way of talking about it or coming to terms with it. Hélène is also oppressed by the way she is supposed to be joyful and grateful at being on a lung transplant list which might mean unpleasant and, if the organ is rejected, possibly futile surgery. She broods on various blogs by people from around the world with the same condition and is entranced by one from a Norwegian guy with the handle Mister (Bjørn Floberg); he is without the usual platitudes, witty and down-to-earth about his mortality.