COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 29min (French with subtitles)
STARRING: Agnès Jaoui, Thibault de Montalembert
She got life! Jaoui
At 50, Aurore (a foxy and womanly Jaoui) is in a state of flux. Her two girls are grown, she’s about to become a grandmother, her ex-husband has moved on, the new owner of the restaurant in which she works is a sexist jerk and menopausal hot flushes are driving her nuts. “You have to be philosophical,” her patronising (male) doctor tells her. “It’s all downhill now.” He’s a jerk, as well, although he does have a point. It’s perilously easy for older women to feel cast aside. But when she runs into her first love (textbook-debonair de Montalembert as Totoche), Aurore decides she’s not ready to give up after all.
There’s no definitive handbook on the ageing process but if there were, it’s odds on a French woman would have written it. That director Blandine Lenoir doesn’t sugar-coat the invisibility syndrome of advancing years doesn’t mean she’s about to wallow. Aurore’s English title is I Got Life!, which pretty much says it all. Despite the significant issues it takes on, this is a smile-along story whose relatable characters keep bouncing back.
Ageing in an ideal world would be as much about embracing new challenges as letting go of what is done. But nobody’s journey is seamless. Aurore, now struggling to find a fulfilling job and dealing with the skittish Totoche’s fear of being hurt, is herself afraid of growing old alone and impoverished. And when she takes her shot at fresh possibilities, Jaoui isn’t afraid to keep their boundaries real.