Penniless New Yorker Mathias travels to Paris to liquidate a huge apartment he has inherited from his estranged father. He is stunned to find a refined old lady Mathilde living there with her very protective daughter Chloe. He soon learns that under ancient French law, he will not actually gain possession of the apartment until Mathilde dies.
Before ‘My Old Lady’ was a film, it was a hit play, premiering in New York City at the Promenade Theater on West 76th Street in 2002, before a lengthy run abroad, including productions in Germany, Russia, and of course, France. At the heart of both movie and play is the murky French real estate arrangement known as the viager, in which the buyer pays a monthly fee to the seller in lieu of a lump sum, forgoing the right to occupy the property until the seller’s death. For the buyer’s heirs, however, this can turn a simple inheritance into a years-long ordeal if the seller is in good health.
Certificate: 12A Distributor: Curzon Film World
Dir. Israel Horovitz, UK/France/US, 2014, 107 mins
Cast: Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith