Make room for the modest but affecting pleasures of veteran actors tearing into the subject of golden-years resignation. Roger Michell’s sensitive comedy transports bickering Brits Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan to the magical terrain of Paris, where reinvigorated passions intermingle with career dissatisfactions and hurt. Smile as you might through much of the initial portion (including a too-cute dash and dine), this is not a nice story. Money is a looming concern: There’s a failed-to-launch son desperate to move back home, and Broadbent’s professor casually reveals that he’s facing forced early retirement for an ignominious exchange with a student.
Memories of the old-timers’ former idealism swim to the forefront (a Bob Dylan–loaded iPod gets a workout), yet the film thrums with a couple’s creative survival in the now. And as if two towering performances weren’t enough, along comes the mighty rambler Jeff Goldblum to shake things up, as a bumped-into colleague whose obsequious flattery (and swank book party hosted by a pregnant second wife) proves cold comfort. Edward Albee would know these people—and there’s not a piece of smashed china in sight.
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