Bright Days Ahead (2014)
For recent retiree Caroline (Fanny Ardant, 8 WOMEN, CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS), a new life of freedom and opportunity lies before her: time to take care of her children, her husband, and most of all, to finally take care of herself. But while her peers at the local seniors' club pass the time with ceramics and amateur theater, she finds a new hobby of her own between the sheets with the center's computer teacher Julien (Laurent Lafitte, LITTLE WHITE LIES), a carefree ladies man decades her junior. The couple set rules for their affair, but Caroline seems to like courting danger, taking her lover to places she knows they might be seen and telling lies to her husband (Patrick Chesnais, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY) that could easily be discovered. As Caroline finds herself in the midst a second youth - taking a new lover, living new experiences, breaking the rules, not doing what's expected of her - will her retirement mark the beginning of the end for her marriage, or a new beginning?(C) Tribeca … More
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Critic Reviews for Bright Days Ahead
This engaging French comedy has Fanny Ardant in Mrs Robinson mode as an improbably glamorous retired dentist who has an affair with a younger man.
Bright Days Ahead is a fitting title for a story about one woman's transition at a turning point of her life where time is no longer her enemy, but her anchor.
A fine performance from Fanny Ardant elevates Marion Vernoux's intriguing if rarely riveting study of late-life passion.
Bright Days is fairly lightweight stuff but Ardant's performance lends it conviction and poignancy.
To the film's credit, no one finds the age gap that scandalous, but that doesn't mean it doesn't matter. These are people at very different places in life.
A lightweight but sincere glimpse at starting life when many are ending it.
Don't hold your breath, or your heart: it's not exactly Brief Encounter. But Ardant has the moves. It's the younger cast members who must struggle to keep up.
Ardant gives a performance you just want to bask in, glowing with desire and desirability while avoiding cougarish mother-figure clichés.
We've seen variations on the character before. But Fanny Ardant's performance as the straitlaced wife ... is insightful and note-perfect.
This is twinkly wish-fulfilment on stilts, presumably aimed at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fanclub, but it manages some funny jabs at ageism, and it's lovely to see Ardant being funny, vibrant and desirable.
Fitfully amusing and poignant in its insights into ageing, this cross-generational fling saga lacks the character and depth to say anything genuinely significant.
Lead performance from Fanny Ardant is superbly measured, bringing an interesting internalization to an occasionally, but not crushingly, routine look at the power of flirtation.
Ardant might wrestle with alienation, but Bright Days Ahead never risks alienating its self-satisfied target audience.
"Bright Days Ahead" offers an interesting twist on the May-December romance.
A French dramedy about the love affair that brings pleasure to a married 64 year old woman and a 41 year-old computer teacher.
The well-observed script touches on a number of everyday issues about the aging process - whether you're pushing 40 or passing 60 - that add a tender and enlightening layer to this engaging, leisurely paced film.
Moves along predictable lines but does feature a glowing, Deneuveian performance from veteran screen star Fanny Ardant.
Struggling to get out from under the film's too-cheery surface is a much more serious movie about grown-ups confronting the depredations of old age.
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