There’s little about this overly fruity adaptation by American playwright Israel Horovitz of his own 2002 Paris-set stage play to suggest that the original was especially worthy of becoming a film. It’s essentially a three-hander performed by the arresting trio of Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas, each of them playing characters with demons to face up to. Kline’s dishevelled Mathias, a failed playwright, arrives in Paris to claim an apartment left to him by his much-loathed late father. He’s soon embroiled in archaic French law when he realises the opulent home he’s inherited comes complete with an elderly woman, Mathilde (Smith) and her daughter (Scott Thomas), to whom he must pay a monthly fee while they remain there until the old woman dies.
Soon complicated links emerge between players dead and alive, and there’s much unconvincing, hysterical soul searching and swigging from wine bottles. The cast fail to gel and the tone of the film sways uneasily between melodrama and something more gentle. It’s too twee and theatrical to take seriously.
|Release date:||Friday November 21 2014|
Cast and crew
Kristin Scott Thomas
Average User Rating
2 / 5
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This is one of those movies you either like or you don't. Although Horovit's script could be deemed as somewhat predictable, it can surprise and overall produce a light and entertaining movie. The cast offers some effortless performances, the Parisian settings are delightful and the themes, although they never evolve into something deeper, provide for an interesting movie overall. If you enjoy arthouse cinema and a good script, go see this one.
A real dud. But not much can shine when you have a script as dire as this and overall the standard was little better than what you would expect from a sixth form project. It is sad that actresses such as Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas end up having to do films like this. One to avoid.