My Old Lady (2014)

My Old Lady (2014)
  • Time: 107 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Director: Israel Horovitz
  • Cast: Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas


Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is a down-on-his-luck New Yorker who inherits a Parisian apartment from his estranged father. But when he arrives in France to sell the vast domicile, he’s shocked to discover a live-in tenant who is not prepared to budge. His apartment is a viager – an ancient French real estate system with complex rules pertaining to its resale – and the feisty Englishwoman Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), who has lived in the apartment with her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas) for many years, can by contract collect monthly payments from Mathias until her death.

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  • Septuagenarian Israel Horovitz adapts one of his own plays to make his feature film debut with My Old Lady, a light comedy that steers into Ibsen territory as the characters dredge up remembrances of grievances past.

    Kevin Kline plays Mathias Gold, who travels to Paris to claim the two-story Paris apartment left to him by his deceased father. Broke and awash in debt, he plans to sell the place for a pretty penny to set himself up for a new start in life. Arcane French real-estate rules throw a spanner in the works – the apartment was purchased under the viager scheme, wherein the buyer acquires the property for a steal but must pay the owner a monthly stipend until the owner expires. Much to his bitter amusement, not only has Mathias inherited a debt but he’s inherited the apartment’s original tenant as well, a certain Madame Girard (Maggie Smith), who is in such fine fettle that she could live well beyond her 92 years.

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