Our review of the film ‘Peaceful’

Catherine Deneuve is featured on the poster for the movie Peaceful. We ask: Does the film Peaceful bring peace?

Does the film Peaceful actually bring peace? We find it to be honest and moving.

Director:  Emmanuelle Bercot

Featuring: Catherine Deneuve and Benoît Magimel.


Synopsis: Peaceful tells a deeply moving story of Benjamin.  From a career spent teaching others how to act, Benjamin’s life takes an unexpected turn when he is suddenly diagnosed with cancer.  In Emmanuelle Bercot’s “Peaceful”, these final few months are played out against the backdrop of heart-wrenching melodrama and absurdist comedy. 

This French film is packed with star-studded performances from Benoît Magimel and Catherine Deneuve, whose chemistry drives an unexpected narrative full of poignancy and comic moments – some intentional, others less so. Whilst at times it lacks in clarity, it stands out for capturing both heartache and humour along this poignant journey through life’s fragility

Does the film Peaceful bring us peace?

Takeaway One: presence is hard to define but vitally important

Defining of ‘presence’: in the scene where Benjamin asks his students to define presence, when they fail to do this, the camera focuses on Benjamin who captivates us in this moment, radiating enthusiasm and charisma that draws us into his world.  It really makes you consider what is your own presence.

Takeaway Two: the emotional impact of cancer is easily underestimated

By glimpsing the emotional impact cancer has on all those involved – from patients to nurses, and even doctors “Peaceful” provides a nuanced portrait of this devastating condition.

Catherine Deneuve is featured on the poster for the movie Peaceful. We ask: Does the film Peaceful bring peace?

Final thoughts

Whilst a little plodding and with some concepts that feel awkward, this is nevertheless an informative film that gets you thinking. The film masterfully weaves together the themes of love, loss, and forgiveness, highlighting the ways in which our past can shape our present and future. With outstanding performances from the entire cast, “Peaceful” is a moving portrayal of the complexity of human relationships and the power of reconciliation. Overall, it is a must-see for anyone who enjoys thought-provoking dramas that leave a lasting impact.


What next?

Read our other reviews about death-related media or why not download our app and start enjoying more peace in your life by coming to terms with death.