Life Feels Good

Poland submitted this marvelous entry to the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival. "Chce sie zyc" (English captions) has won numerous awards: Trident Award - Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress - Polish Film Awards 2014; Jury Prize - Cleveland International Film Festival 2014; Jury Prize and Audience Award - Gdynia Film Festival 2013; Audience Award, Gran Prix des Americas, and Ecumenical Prize - Montreal Film Festival 2013; Audience Award - Chicago International Film Festival 2013 and nominated for New Director's Showcase Award - 2014 Seattle International Film Festival.

Directed by Maciej Pieprzyca, this star-studded cast is convincing from the first frame. Billed as heartbreaking and humorous, we watch as a romantic young man with cerebral palsy struggles to be understood by his family and caretakers. We are privy to his thoughts, so we feel his frustration and pain as people consistently misunderstand and under- estimate him.

The cast:
  • Dawid Ogrodnik is Mateusz, our flailing hero, unable to control his limbs or his voice, but able to think the entire time. His world view is limited because he has never attended school or left home, which makes for some funny impressions.
  • Dorota Ilkak plays his mother, patient, determined and unfaltering in her love and mindful of his needs. This actress ages soooo convincingly it's amazing.
  • Arkadiusz Jakubik is his father, funny, creative and resourceful in finding ways to reinforce Mateusz's self worth. He is the reason the family is so accepting and supportive. He says "Never give up!" and "Everything's fine!"
In my opinion, Daniel Day Lewis ("My Left Foot") had better watch his back! Dawid Ogrodnik is flawless in this role; he was also the appealing saxophone player in "Ida," another Polish film at this year's festival, which bears absolutely NO resemblance to Mateusz. Ogrodnik is a brilliant and talented actor!

Do NOT miss this one!