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Bright Days Ahead (Les Beaux Jours)


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Women of a certain age, rejoice!  Lead actress Fanny Ardant shows you can still be sexy, sensual and seductive in this gentle dramedy from director Marion Vernoux.   (Yes, she is French, tall and slim and looks like Brigitte Bardot, but she is 64 and gorgeous.)

Ardant plays Caroline, a recently retired dentist with two dull daughters and a grandchild. The daughters think it would be good for Mum to make new friends by joining the local senior citizens’ club.  They probably don’t realise skinny-dipping is on the club’s calendar of activities.

Caroline shows a delightful disdain for the club and its irritating instructors – except for Julien, the cocky computer teacher.  Their flirtation quickly develops into an affair with all the emotional turmoil that entails.

Laurent Lafitte plays Julien with an engaging arrogance, and Patrick Chesnais is a study in under-statement as Caroline’s cuckolded husband.  There is a real dignity to his sad acceptance of his wife’s amour fou. But this is unquestionably Ardant’s movie: she just shines in every scene.

Bright Days Ahead is a beautiful movie with a warm heart.

Bright Days Ahead is showing at Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas at 6.30pm on March 21 and 1.30pm on March 30 as part of the 2014 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, which opens in Adelaide today and continues until April 8.

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