[ONE WEEK ONLY] Niceties first: This is Jane Fonda’s first French-film appearance since Jean-Luc Godard’s Tout Va Bien in 1972, back when she was entrenched in the Marxist activism of that period. Fitting, then, that her next turn on the continent should be in a crowd of elderly ex-activists trying and failing to recapture the vibrancy of their ’68er years by living together, commune-style, in a palatial manse. The heart of the movie is nonetheless the fear not of dying but of living, of the long years of failing hearts and minds, of no longer being desired. But, whoa, that’s a heavy pill to swallow without Alzheimer’s and Viagra jokes and a wide-eyed, young straight man. So, in they go. But the anemic comedy barely disguises the true sadness and anxiety beneath the film's surface—the actors seem intent on stealing the movie from the writers. Most telling is a scene in which an old affair is discovered: The rage of the cuckold is impotent, because he is too tired and too afraid of being alone. This is an uneven film, unsure of itself and prone to embarrassing caricature, but every now and then a naked, vulnerable truth is revealed. And it’s worth the occasional tedium, perhaps, just for the lovely and mournful closing scene.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Friday, December 28, 2012
- Critic's Score: B-
- Watch the trailer