Bright Days Ahead
Directed by Marion Vernoux
Bright days ahead? Caroline has retired, at last. A new life lies before her: time to take care of her children, her husband, and, most of all, herself. However, she soon comes to realize that this new freedom is synonymous with boredom and idleness. Especially when she receives a membership to her neighborhood’s senior club as a birthday present… Reluctant at first, she nevertheless decides to take the plunge. Oddly enough, she meets great people there, starting with the young computer science teacher, who is far from insensitive to her charms. Caroline gradually takes control of her life again and lives a second youth: taking a new lover, living new experiences, breaking the rules, not doing what’s expected of her… Who said that retirement was the beginning of the end and not a new beginning?
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★★★½ review by Vanina on Letterboxd
A perfect film for my Life Begins at 60?-list. Bless the French for daring to make a film that looks at an older woman's sexuality.
After a traumatic year, Caroline (Fanny Ardant, gorgeous as always) is given a membership to a retirement club by her daughters. At the club she takes computer classes, yoga and drama. She meets a man much younger than herself and the two have an affair.
While the film doesn't give the viewer much insight into Caroline's life, it's a beautiful little study of just that moment in her life. It's not overly complicated (the film or her life), the affair doesn't bring about much other than just relatively simple moments of happiness. The film's backdrop of the French seaside make it a relaxing little escape for about 90 minutes.
Stylistically, I liked that there were a lot of shots where Ardant was shot from the back, so you feel as if you're in the moment with her. It's a very strong visual that keeps returning and that ties the film together beautifully.
★★★★ review by Laura Raud on Letterboxd
Never have I ever seen a movie like this that made me so warm and fuzzy inside. I can't explain it but after leaving the screening I had an odd sense of euphoria for hours to continue.
What a wonderful movie.
★★★★ review by Laura ☕ on Letterboxd
This was so beautiful and tender and sexy and charming? Who knew that a little film about a retired 60 year old dentist becoming a member of a retirement club and starting an affair with a much younger man would leave me feeling so elated? Well, it helped that the main characters were played by the always stunning Fanny Ardant, and the beautiful Laurent Lafitte.
★★★½ review by teamzizzou on Letterboxd
Fanny Ardent excels in this lightweight drama about a 60 year old woman who starts a affair with a man 20 years her junior. Its slightly predictable but good fun with humorous touches.A solid cast also makes this 90 minute film fly by.Argent is glamorous and beautiful with a vulnerable edge that makes the whole thing believable.
★★★½ review by Tess on Letterboxd
The cinematography in this film is so beautiful. It's a constant contrast of turquoise and orange and the shots of Caroline walking on the beach are so pretty. Fanny Ardant is particularly good and I liked the direction the film took even if some parts felt clumsy. The costuming was really cute too.
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