Movie Review : My Old Lady

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Mathias Gold (Kline) travels to Paris, France to claim his inheritance of an apartment on the river Seine. When he arrives, rather than the empty apartment and quick sale he was hoping for, he discovers there is a tenant, 90-year-old Mathilde (Smith). To further add to his woes, Mathilde informs him that due to an unusual Parisian real estate law, she remains in the apartment until her death ….. and he has to pay her rent.

Mathias is broke and was hoping for some fast cash so is understandably unhappy with the situation. When Mathilde’s highly strung, tempestuous daughter Chloe (Scott Thomas) becomes involved, the story becomes a whole lot more complicated.

Mathias sets about trying to make some quick cash while searching for a way out or around his predicament with Mathilde and Chloe. His chats with real estate agent Lefebvre (Pinon) are some of the most amusing scenes in the movie.

What seems to be a quirky French comedy at the start soon turns into something a little deeper. With lots of questioning and prompting, Mathilde begins to discuss the true nature of her relationship to the Gold family. Once she begins her revelations, it seems that not a day passes without her revealing more, drip feeding information to an increasingly desperate Mathias.

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Her revelations are life changing for all involved and it becomes horribly obvious that Mathilde, my Dame Maggie, is a bad person. And not in that mean-but-has-a-heart-of-gold way either. This woman is a selfish, mean, calculating piece of work. I remain in shock ….

My Dame Maggie is faultless, as one would expect.

Kline is perfect as the thrice divorced, recovering alcoholic, wanna-be novelist who was born into great wealth and thus, has never really had to work for anything in his life. To find himself literally penniless and thwarted in his every attempt to sell this apartment, his anguish is palpable.

Scott Thomas is divine as the shrill English teacher, desperate to be loved.

A moving story about family and love, it’s quite subtlety will not be to everyone’s taste. How far one person will go, how much is willing to be sacrificed for a great love is a question here. But what of the children?

As the saying goes ‘The gods visits the sins of the fathers upon the children’

Love Flick xx

Director :  Israel Horovitz

Starring :  Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Dominique Pinon, Stephane De Groodt, Noemie Lvovsky

Running Time :  107 minutes

Release Date :  13 November 2014

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