The Little Bedroom (La Petite Chambre) is a story about the complexity of human emotions and the difficulty of letting go and accepting change. It reveals how the beautiful bond of human connection helps us heal from old wounds and fulfill our life’s destiny. Set in Switzerland, the film stars two-time Céasar Award winner Michel Bouquet (Le Promeneur du Champ de Mars, How I Killed My Father) and César Award nominated Florence Loiret Caille. The film is directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond.
Edmond (M. Bouquet) feels burdened by old age and is angry with his son Jacques (Joël Delsaut) for wanting to put him in a nursing home so he could take a new job in Chicago. When Rose (F. Caille) becomes Edmond’s nurse, he tells her “Life is not that beautiful,” then asks her to prove him wrong as though he knew that she was at grips with emotional pain. Rose and Edmond’s deep emotional turmoil – their need to heal, make amends with themselves and others and move on – becomes the basis for their friendship.
As they become closer to each other, we witness the difficulties each experiences in their own relationships – Edmond with his son and Rose with her husband Marc. Marc (Éric Caravaca) is frustrated with Rose’s inability to heal from her loss, and at a deeper level, he doesn’t understand how trauma keeps her stuck in the past. Only when he goes to New York to pursue his own dreams and leaves her the space to heal, does she start to appreciate him and want him back in her life.
The relationship between Edmond and his son is rather complex from the very start of the movie. Selfishly, Edmond tells Jacques that he is too old to start his life over in Chicago because he doesn’t want to change the way things are. As the story unfolds, the son shows his unexpressed emotions about his dad’s unavailability to him throughout his life. When Edmond discovers that Jacques had sold his apartment, he feels deeply hurt and refuses to go back to the nursing home. Rose decides to help him regain the dignity he needs, even though she is no longer his nurse, but little does she know that by helping Edmond, she is finally helping herself heal from her deep wound.
The Little Bedroom is a metaphor for change. It holds the past – where once old dreams became entangled in pain – and the future, where new possibilities begin. When Edmond enters the little bedroom, led in by the joyful play of two children, he finally discovers Rose’s secret, and she surrenders and shares her pain with him. He feels for her in a very fatherly, self-effacing way and he wants to help her. When he insists on sleeping in the little bedroom, he opens the door for change and encourages Rose to start trusting life again.
Edmond finally makes peace with his son, but deep down he knows that life in a nursing home is not what he longs for. A man used to a life of Beethoven, solitude and plants, a man set in his ways and attached to his land, needs to always be free to decide how to live his life.
Only in the final moments of the movie does Rose discover what happens to Edmond, but their deep connection is sealed through synchronistic events – Edmond looking at the beauty of the mountains, while Rose goes through a final catharsis and releases old trauma to make a place for her new life.
The Little Bedroom is a beautifully crafted film about life as it happens at any age through trauma, friendships, relationships, love, and change. And there is nothing more precious than to be free to live the life one desires and to make room for new things to begin.