My Old Lady (2014 dir. Israel Horovitz)

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My Old Lady is a comedy drama about a troubled American, Mathias (Kevin Kline), who inherits his father’s apartment in Paris only to discover that it is inhabited by 90 year old ‘viager’ Mathilde (Maggie Smith) and her daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas). The viager system for buying and selling apartments means that Mathias will not get the apartment until Mathilde dies, and that while she is alive he must pay her €2400 a month.

Recovering alcoholic Mathias is broke and homeless and Mathilde allows him to stay with her in exchange for his watch. Whilst there he plots to sell the apartment to a wealthy lawyer, upsets Chloe and secretly sells and pockets money in exchange for their precious vintage furniture.

He is obnoxious and yet through the retelling of past experiences is able to eventually bond with the pair.

This is a sophisticated film with a complex and entertaining storyline that though meanders to a somewhat predictable end, remains engaging and funny throughout.

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