Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas star in Israel Horovitz’s adaptation of his play of the same name.
Kline plays Matthias Gold, a down on his luck American visiting Paris to sell a property inherited from his father only to discover it comes with a protected tenant (Smith) and her feisty daughter (Scott Thomas) who he’s powerless to evict.
Our trio’s conflict and scheming plays out alongside a story of family revelations as Matthias uncovers hidden truths, both about the father he was estranged from for most of his life and his own childhood.
Horovitz’s wordy script initially seduces the audience by pretending to be a comfortable sunny rom com, but slowly takes on a satisfyingly darker tone as figurative skeletons start popping out of closets.
The film’s tale of family intimacy is told in small, largely indoor settings which perfectly suit the material’s stage origins and it’s pleasing that Horovitz has resisted the temptation to scale up proceedings for the big screen.
My Old Lady is an immensely likeable film which takes its protagonists and audience on an emotional roller-coaster before arriving at a sufficiently happy ending.
Out November 21st.