I Got Life! (Aurore)
With a lighthearted, funny and very human perspective on being a woman in a sexist world, I Got Life! (Aurore) – directed by Blandine Lenoir – is a genuine and affectionate portrayal of the female experience amid the ironies of gender disparity. Highlighting the challenges of getting older through the eyes of 50-year-old Aurore (Agnès Jaoui), the film presents the experience frankly, without self-consciousness.
Newly divorced with two daughters, the protagonist faces baffling physical changes, and yet she is blithely dismissed by her male doctor – who explains that once a woman hits 30 existence is a slippery slope, after which it’s all downhill. However, Aurore and her best friend Mano (Pascale Arbillot) are confidently defiant and resilient – illustrated when the latter approaches an unknown man with a girlfriend two decades younger and, as a lark, pretends to be his wronged wife. As Lenoir presents sexism as an artificial state that doesn’t quite match reality, the man then pursues and dates his saboteur. This incongruity surfaces frequently in the piece; the women carry on with their lives normally, with gender bias as a superficial annoyance in the guise of crude sexual harassment and references to inequality and male privilege.
The acting is admirable all round: Jaoui’s excellent performance is charismatic and natural, and Arbillot is magnificent as her eccentric pal. The terrific writing is insightful, with poignant detail and heartfelt perceptiveness. Skilful and unobtrusive, the cinematography is also very effective.
This is not a piece about revolution or militancy. There is no particular hostility toward men; rather, it is a touching and hilarious narrative about the foibles of living, the joys of family and friendship and the finding of lost love – which is explored as Aurore and her high school sweetheart Totoche (Thibault De Montalembert) are reunited. The message is clear: we carry on and life doesn’t end at 50, nor when a relationship falters or a teenage daughter leaves the nest. The quinquagenarian works and loves, the relationship is rekindled and the daughter returns home because her boyfriend is a jerk.
I Got Life! playfully mocks sexism and its contradictions. Tired of her demanding boss, Aurore repeats her friend’s prank when seeing him with his much younger girlfriend. A feisty elderly lady (also an employer) describes a past passionate tryst – actually three years prior. With a philosophical attitude, poignant female bonding and no one taking themselves too seriously, the movie’s message is that despite its tribulations, life is good.
I Got Life! (Aurore) is released nationwide on 23rd March 2018.
Watch the trailer for I Got Life (Aurore) here: