Half a century after they first appeared together on screen in 1966’s The Chase, and almost 40 years since their last pairing in 1979’s The Electric Horseman, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda reunite for the cosy but charming romantic drama Our Souls at Night and prove that the passing years haven’t dimmed their chemistry one bit.
They play widowed octogenarian neighbours in small-town Colorado whose unruffled lives get shaken up after Fonda’s Addie turns up at the door of Redford’s Louis with a startling proposal. How would he feel about coming over to her house to sleep with her? For pillow talk, that is, not sex.
Director Ritesh Batra, maker of the recent Julian Barnes’ adaptation The Sense of an Ending, handles the pair’s ensuing relationship with a lightly comic touch, deftly trading on his stars’ long established screen images – he’s awkwardly laconic; she’s disarmingly spry.
Yet for all the humour, there is sadness here, too. Both partners experienced crises in their respective marriages that left them with guilt and regret, and encumbered their now adult children – his daughter (Judy Greer), her son (Matthias Schoenaerts) – with emotional baggage. Overall, though, the film’s prevailing mood is upbeat, making this an enjoyably rosy portrayal of late-in-life romance.
Certificate PG. Runtime 103 mins. Director Ritesh Batra
Our Souls at Night debuts on Netflix from Friday 29 September.