My Old Lady

Nov 20, 2014

With more than 70 plays under his belt, American writer Israel Horovitz makes his directorial feature film debut with My Old Lady.

Adapted from his 2002 play, the dramatic comedy brings together the indelible talents of Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Kline and Scott Thomas appeared together as husband and wife in the poignant 2001 drama Life as a House, and they complement each other well. In My Old Lady, they generate compelling chemistry and intrigue. Add Maggie Smith to the mix, and you’re guaranteed a film that engages, entertains and stimulates.

The historical charm and beauty of Paris are highlighted as Mathias Gold (Kline) bumbles along the streets in search of his destination. Disillusioned and down on his luck, Mathias intends to buy a new life once he sells the Parisian apartment he has inherited from his estranged father.

But when Mathias discovers refined English woman Mathilde (Smith) living in the stately apartment with her daughter Chloé (Scott Thomas), his plans for a quick sale become fraught with complications. The property is under the governance of a “viager”, an ancient French real estate agreement that entitles the previous owner to retain residency and receive a monthly annuity from the purchaser until the end of their life.

Mathilde makes it clear that possession of the apartment is not an option and the conditions surrounding the property prove as complex as Mathias’s relationship with his father. Things go from bad to worse when he learns of an inherited debt, while the ever-resourceful Mathilde sets out to claim what’s rightfully hers.

With differing realities and outlandish expectations dividing the pair, Mathias enlists the help of real estate agent Monsieur Lefebvre (Dominique Pinon) – but that only serves to complicate matters further. Home truths are revealed and common threads begin to weave substance into a surprising picture.

At the heart of My Old Lady is the child’s need to understand the truth of what has been lived before. But in order to resolve the sins of the father and give voice to a silenced past, Mathias is challenged to go well beyond his comfort zone.

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