"If the family were a fruit," writes Letty Cottin Pogrebin, "it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable — each segment distinct." That's a fitting description of the Severin clan. Jeanne (Claudine Cardinale) has just given birth to her sixth child when she decides to separate from Edourad (Philippe Noiret), her philandering husband. He's a wonderful father but a terrible husband, and she knows that she deserves better. This jolt to the family equilibrium sends out tremors to the lives of the two Severin girls.

Dino (Danny Ardant), a decorator, has high expectations in her marriage to Paul (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a playwright. The only problem is that he hasn't got what she needs, and so they fight. Sidonie (Marie Trintignant) has found happiness with Jude (Jerome Ange), but her career as a concert pianist is jeopardized by stage fright.

The family is drawn together at a Riviera clinic when Edouard — who is now living alone — suffers a cerebral hemorrhage. At a nearby country house the Severins discuss their problems, fears and foibles in a session of mutual sharing. Nadine Trintignant, who has written and directed this gracefully paced and emotionally resonant French film, celebrates family solidarity in the face of tragedy. The performances by the talented cast are a treat to watch, and the story's finale is uplifting.