Film Review: My Old Lady

This review was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 19th November 2014.

In this gentle comedy, Kevin Kline plays Mathias Gold, a broke divorcee who returns to Paris in order to claim the property bestowed to him in his late father’s will. To his horror he discovers that the elderly resident of the apartment, Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), is protected by an obscure French law which allows her the right to live there until she dies. Mathias’ attempts to find a way to sell the apartment to settle debts puts him at odds with the old woman’s daughter, Chloe, played by Kristin Scott Thomas.

Directed by first time feature helmer Israel Horowitz, based on his own play, My Old Lady benefits from the chemistry between the three leads. Smith perfectly inhabits her forgetful (or manipulative) old duck who takes her evening meal at exactly the same time, and exchanges english classes for domestic services, including doctor’s appointments. Kline is also a welcome presence on the big screen, after what seems like several years away from leading roles in mainstream films.

Although unsurprisingly somewhat stagey, Horowitz enhances the film with some wonderful Paris locations.

Romantics will find My Old Lady a charming experience. For everyone else, it may not make you laugh out loud, but you’ll definitely leave the cinemas with a smile on your face, and some useful knowledge about French real estate.

Published in: on November 20, 2014 at 17:03  Leave a Comment  
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