My Old Lady

Rated 3.0

Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline), a failed playwright with several divorces and no life savings, arrives in Paris to claim the house bequeathed to him by his late and not much loved father. There he finds Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), his father’s one-time mistress, still occupying the premises along with her sour-tempered adult daughter, Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas). Something like the French version of a reverse mortgage requires Mathias to let her have the run of the place even though he is now technically the owner. Legal niceties aside, the situation becomes the serio-comic occasion for a cross-generational settling (and renewal) of emotional accounts. For Mathias in particular but also for Chloé, it is a weirdly belated coming-of-age story. The script, adapted by writer-director Israel Horovitz, is a little creaky, but not so much that it spoils the pleasure these brief encounters with Kline, Scott Thomas and Smith, as well as the comic actor Dominique Pinon (Diva, Delicatessen, etc.) and the city of Paris. Pageant Theatre. Rated PG-13