Les beaux jours

Les beaux jours

DVD - 2013 | French
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Publisher: [Toronto] : Mongrel Media, ©2013.
Edition: Panoramique.
Characteristics: 1 vidéodisque (94 min) :,son., coul. ;,12 cm
digital, video, rda
video file, Laserdisc, rda
Alternative Title: Bright days ahead [dvd]


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Sep 20, 2015

I picked this DVD mainly to see Fanny Ardant. As a film LBJ is just OK in storytelling, acting and directing. It tells the story of a short stint between an older woman, who is married with adult children, and a much younger man. It is an average romance with a twist. In French with subtitles.

Mar 01, 2015

Delightful French fantasy: deeply erotic without ever drifting into the truly romantic, yet all the while never inching anywhere close to vulgar. Moral perspectives are never visited, pretty much, and after a while one hankers for a bit of reality, some thought for others' lives beyond the libertinage our protagonists indulge--though it's soon clear that that, precisely, is *not* the stuff we sign up for in our Friday night screenings.

Her new man is young enough to be her son, and is handsome all right yet boyish. Fanny Ardant, by contrast, possesses the usual incandescent wattage onscreen, and fills this movie almost completely. His part's simpler: a bon vivant with no links or past or ties, hardly even a job (computer instructor), and barely a name (Julien). She's joyful and frivolous, albeit a grandmother, and in the end knows that there's a husband and chains to real life. By dint of these the film outwears, challenges, or even comes to defy its central premise: that a young-hearted, still vital granny can escape the doldrums for a fun, maybe final romp, no harm done.

Well, maybe; just maybe--as long as there's a wink and a nudge on behalf of everyone's escapist cravings. Reality intrudes when her sweater's on inside out, or she forgets to pick up her grandson. Her husband takes it well when he gets wind of what's going on. So, like the viewer, the story-teller's ever nudged to bring reality just a little closer, but the temptation to retain the fantasy for just a little longer remains strong; after all, now she's alive! From some dreams, we'd rather not awake; well, not just yet.

In the end (spoilers ho!), everything's undone a bit sadly, though not at all tragically, with her return to her husband and normalcy. With an oblique twist on mutual consent, her lover calls things to an end. Saddened but resigned, she does not object--mercifully, after our voyeuristic romp--returning her to vast, joyless time that filled her days before him, and to the search for amusements and hobbies to ease that emptiness.

Fanny Ardant has always had exquisite taste in her roles. Even when she plays a hooker (in Paris Stories, against Bob Hoskins--in likely his most endearing role), you know there will be some twist or irony, but there's always humour.

Another inspired flick from the French, currently in the thick of their cinematic heyday. It's fluff, it's true, but it's very well made. Another one not to miss.

Jul 18, 2014

Fanny Ardant, now in her 60's, gives us a fine portrait of a retired dentist who starts an affair with a man young enough to be her son. Excellent work from the actors, effective direction from Marion Vernoux.

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