Late Bloomers


A life-crisis farce custom-built exclusively for self-absorbed menopausal women, Julie Gavras’s film wants nothing more than to have coffee and kvetch with the gray-cougar, elder-boomer sisters out there. The rest of us are not invited. Gavras follows Isabella Rossellini’s upper-middle-class housewife (married to aloof award-winning architect William Hurt) as a momentary memory-loss episode and the approach of her 60th birthday sends her spinning toward end-of-life heebie-jeebies, until she is joining (and quitting) aquafit classes, flirting unsuccessfully with young men in public places, and installing geriatric support handles into every room of their posh London apartment. Separation and infidelities ensue, all chirped about by a Greek chorus of familiar BBC faces (Joanna Lumley, Simon Callow, etc.). The battery of obstacles before the actually-59 Rossellini is substantial—including Gavras’s smirky screenplay and direction, and fed-up Hurt’s vaporous attempt at a Brit lilt. But she is radiant in a profoundly ordinary and believable way, as always, and stirs up generational pathos all by herself.