My Old Lady
Director: Israel Horovitz
Cast: Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas
Genre: Comedy Drama
Country of Origin: UK, France, USA 2014 107 mins.
Released by ARTIFICIAL EYE/CURZON FILM RELEASING
'Secrets exposed in a battle of wits - Maggie Smith effortlessly holds centre stage.'
Cash-strapped New York writer Mathias Gold, played by an over-the-top to the point of falling off the screen but never quite in gear, Kevin Kline, is in luck. He's inherited a large apartment in a plush quarter of Paris and selling it will kill his debts and leave cash to spend. Mathias is a very happy man but the surprise of his life is about jump out and bites him when he finds Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), a die-hard dowager living there with her over protective daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas). The apartment is a 'viager', which under the French legal system grants elderly residents a tenant-for-life status. The battle lines are drawn, the game begins. Well a dark and witty game should begin and delight.
'My Old Lady', playwright-screenwriter Israel Horowitz's directorial debut is a character driven comedy drama with its fair share of twists and turns and Maggie Smith effortlessly holds centre stage. Mathilde and Mathias bond but daughter Chloe who's tongue could be more acerbic will have none of it. The trio dance around the edge and nibble instead of biting and drawing blood. With the past surfacing it's no surprise that family secrets are exposed and a romantic past alters everything but it remains theatrical and very tame.