The Little Things In Life – Like a Blessedly Short Film
Maison de Bonheur (“House of Happiness”) has a little something for everyone. Because everyone nowadays is stressed out, with a million things on their mind, especially in New York City. It’s as though this city was designed to cause anxiety. Why not take a little trip to Paris- and I do mean little, for this movie barely breaks an hour. Despite that, director Sofia Bohdanowicz manages to incorporate just enough life lessons without overselling it, and that is largely due to the wonderful presence of the focus of this documentary: Juliane Sellam, the 77-year-old astrologer living in the titular building.
Like the light pastries they eat at one point in the film, this movie is a tasty, airy break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life- and a beautiful look at what aging with dignity really is. Despite the occasional reference to Sellam’s generational gap from the rest of us- she discusses not being beautiful without makeup and coiffed hair quite firmly – she is quite an admirable figure, and it is an absolute delight to spend the time that we do with her on her daily errands and habits. From the opening scene of her morning coffee to the diagnosis of Sofia’s psyche with the help of her chart, Sellam is a wonderful company.
The major takeaway from this movie is that it is important to do what makes you happy. Sofia and Sellam are joyous throughout the film, laughing, discussing their pasts and their presents with utter presence. So many movies in this day and age find the need to inflict drama and stress on their audiences, leaving people with gritted teeth and tight chests. On the contrary, you will leave this movie with a lighter heart and a smile. It won’t occupy your whole day, but it will make the sun look brighter when you step back outside.
The film will have an Exclusive One-Week NY Engagement from August 24-30 at Metrograph.