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Sunday, April 20, 2014

BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD

By D.E.Levine

A Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Selection

Starring French film star Fanny Ardant and based on co-screenwriter Fanny Chesnel's novel Une jeune fille aux cheveux blancs (A Young Girl With Gray Hair), this film showcases a frank cross-genrational relationship with Mme. Ardant as Caroline, a retiree who becomes involved with a much younger pot-smoking Julien (Laurent Lasfitte) who becomes infatuated with her to the point where she's not just another affair.

After meeting at a retirement center aptly named Les Beaux Jours, where ceramic courses do not interest her, Mme. Ardant has to juggle the relationship with her much youger beau with that of her ongoing relationship with her mildly suspicious husband (Patrick Chenais).  Her much younger paramour teaches computer classes at the center when he's not romancing half of their seaside town.

Mme. Ardant shows the skills that made her a favorite in French film classics, while Lafitte, from the Comedie Francaise, is superbly cast in the role of her younger lover.  As Caroline neglects her dentist husband, Chenais gives a formidable performance as the cuckolded yet understanding spouse.

Overall, the film is an endearing character study and a blunt and truthful look at senior sex and love.