The Movie: 7/10
Sometimes a movie doesn’t inspire me to write about it, not because it’s not good, but because it says what it needs to say without me adding to it. For the sake of getting a review out into the world I’ll add a few thoughts, but remember, I’m not feeling wordy.
Let’s go with the obvious element and see if I get motivated. OK, the story, a man comes to Paris to basically get rid of the property his father left to him in his will. Their relationship was strained by his father’s absence throughout his life. What we discover, along with our leading man, is why Paris was the place his father was spending his time away from the family, and of course there was a woman. Inside the apartment his father owned lives a woman, (The woman), and her daughter, memories and a past that doesn’t seem to want to escape. It sounds terribly depressing, but only a tiny bit. I did laugh a lot.
The cast is amazing, that kind of goes without saying, so I won’t say more about that. Except maybe this, Kevin Kline is a stage performer at heart, or so it seems to me, and sometimes that theatrical side comes out and over dramatizes his character ever so slightly, but not enough to be a distraction. Everyone else falls into these roles and the emotions that come with them with great dignity and class.
The setting is romantic and yet sad and unforgiving. Paris is the city of romance, but a strange large apartment with a garden and inhabitants with a sorrowful past make it just like any other place we see in tales of relationships. It removes the outside world mostly and deals with the internal, literally and with the inner emotional lives of these people. I like that we don’t use Paris as the backdrop for the emotional language for the characters, it’s not there to heal or to excite to illicit sexual tension. It just is.
The criss cross of the past with the present can be taken two ways. Either you sympathize with the damage that has been absorbed by these people or you think to yourself, “OK, so life has sucked, that’s how it is, now get over it and move on.” but the later seems harsh. I am more in the later camp.
For a look into the harm that our “grown up” sexual relationships and matters of the selfish heart can do to families, when it’s not all packaged up nice and neatly, can do, My Old Lady is an excellent dramatic journey there. For a lesson in French real estate law, well, you can’t find another flick that covers that quite so well:)
- Interview With Kevin Kline & Israel Horovitz (52 Minutes) – Director Israel Horovitz and Kevin Kline sit down for a discussion about the film. The pretentious old lady interviewing them kinda put me off though.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
What a lazy cover for a charming and somewhat sweet (if not sad and depressing) movie. I would not have it as a poster. The menu is the menu.
Audio & Video: 8/10
My Old Lady is a beautiful looking movie, filmed entirely in Paris its dripping with detail from start to finish. Universal’s 1080P AVC encode brings it to life with nice shadow detail and pasty Parisian flesh tones. The movie can seem a little dark and gloomy at times but as with the story I think it’s the directors intent.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a rather simple affair as most of the movie is talky and doesn’t justify the use of surround sound. Dialog is centered and never obscured by music or sound effects. Not much to say about this track aside from it serves the subject material well but will not bowl you over either.
Overall Score 7/10