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  • Colin Fraser


THREE STARS Menopause and middle age hit Aurore like a runaway train, turning her life upside down.

Agnès Jaoui, Thibault de Montalembert


Stop now if the prospect of menopause and middle-aged sex leaves you cold. But if a warm-hearted excursion into the inevitability of growing older, this could be the film for you. Aurore (Agnes Jaoui) lives with one daughter, the other has just announced she’s pregnant. She’s amiably estranged from her husband - they never quite got around to divorcing - and an old flame has popped up about the time she calls it quits with a troublesome employer. Adding to the static in her life, ‘the flash’ hits Aurore like a hot stove; as if there wasn’t enough going on already.

Rare in cinema, this is a film that would actually benefit from being longer. Determined not to outstay her welcome, director Blandine Lenoir wraps up Aurore’s bitter-sweet troubles in a neat 89 minutes. Editing is swift, sometimes brutal, forcing many events to come and go without really taking hold Consequently it’s hard to bond with Aurore’s problems or those of her friends or family, despite the best efforts of all involved. Jaoui is so compelling in the lead role that you really do want to spend more time with her.

Which is not to say AURORE is a disappointment other than in failing to let itself fully resonate with its audience. There’s a wealth of material presented here that seldom makes its way to the screen (menopause and middle-aged sex for instance); if only we’d be given a little more time to enjoy it. Yet for all that, the time we do have with Aurore and her every-day battles remains, for the most part, entertaining and rewarding.

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