Bright Days Ahead, 2013.
Directed by Marion Vernoux.
Starring Fanny Ardant, Laurent Lafitte, Patrick Chesnais, Jean-François Stévenin, Fanny Cottençon, Catherine Lachens, and Alain Cauchi.
A grieving and bored senior has an adulterous affair with her much younger computer instructor.
Grieving the recent death of her best friend from breast cancer and being forced into an early retirement because of a controversial incident, a married dentist (Fanny Ardant) explores the possibility of joining a club for seniors in order to pass the time. Things do not go well at first as the possible recruit is humiliated by a drama instructor but she decides to go back to attend a different course with the intention of solving a computer problem encountered at home. Not only does she resolve the technical issue in the classroom but the elderly student finds the solution to her boredom by having an affair with her teacher (Laurent Lafitte) who happens to be two decades younger.
The roles played by Fanny Ardant (Elizabeth) and Patrick Chesnais (he portrays the cuckold husband) seem to carry more emotional weight than the seniors at the club who seem to behave as oddball caricatures and Laurent Lafitte (Tell No One) is essentially a sexual plaything. The discovery of the affair and it coming to an end are two cinematic scenes stand out as being an exercise in restraint rather than the usual shouting match. A third moment well performed is the priceless reaction of the daughter when informed by her mother that she has a lover.
Filmmaker Marion Vernoux (Reines d’un jour) has crafted a cinematic adaptation of the book by Fanny Chesnel which is rich in colours and composition. The opening title sequence is cleverly edited indicating that what follows will be a story told in a stylish fashion. Unfortunately, art imitates the subject matter as the movie never delves below the surface. One never gets a clear sense that the boredom and grief issues are ever really explored which in turn would have provided some much needed gravitas to the proceedings.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★