Yes, it’s just an advert for John Lewis. Yes, it’s just an audacious example of product placement. Yes, it’s a particularly unreconstructed fantasy of middle-class domestic life. But it’s beautiful.
To see a human life glide past you in less than two minutes – from the baby being lifted out of the cot, right through to the grandmother walking through the park with her elderly husband and grandchildren. With so many significant moments in between, choreographed and edited so that it seems to be a single movement, a single breath. (I just think they lost their nerve at the end by not showing one final scene in the hospital ward.)
It makes you realise how astonishing and beautiful and fleeting life is. It makes you wonder what it all adds up to, what it means, when the very things that seem to give it meaning race past so quickly and soon become lost in the past.
And of course none of this would work without that soundtrack…
If you haven’t seen it, do take a look. Don’t miss the first three seconds in the struggle to adjust the screen: