58th BFI London Film Festival | Pick of the Day: Monday 13th October – My Old Lady

My Old Lady - Kevin Kline & Maggie Smith

Adapted by writer-director Israel Horovitz from his own 2012 Broadway play, My Old Lady initially looks as though it’s going to be taking us into fluffy American-in-Paris rom-com territory. Kevin Kline’s hard-up, hard-luck, formerly hard-drinking New Yorker arrives in Paris hoping to turn his fortunes around by claiming his inheritance – a fabulously valuable apartment in the Marais owned by his long estranged, recently deceased father – only to discover that the flat is a viager and, according to French real-estate law, he can’t shift the sitting tenant, a waspish, very droll Maggie Smith, who lives there with her frosty daughter, Kristin Scott Thomas. This set-up yields some highly enjoyable battle-of-wits comedy, but just when you think the story is going to proceed on a well-worn track, its characters unpack their emotional baggage, revealing unexpected depths of hurt and taking the film into bittersweet dramatic territory.

My Old Lady shows at the Curzon Chelsea at 6.30pm tonight and at the Curzon Mayfair at 6.15pm on Wednesday 15th October, and goes on general release from Friday 21st November.

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