My Old Lady

Critics Consensus

Although My Old Lady doesn't quite live up to its stars' talents, Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith carry the film capably whenever they're together onscreen.



Total Count: 87


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,014
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My Old Lady Photos

Movie Info

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. (C) Cohen

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Kevin Kline
as Mathias Gold
Maggie Smith
as Mathilde Girard
Elie Wajeman
as Man at Gate
Raphaële Moutier
as Woman on Bicycle
Sophie Touitou
as Female Opera Singer
Dominique Pinon
as Auguste Lefebvre
Christian Rauth
as Furniture Dealer
Delphine Lanson
as Femme de Ménage
Noémie Lvovsky
as Dr. Florence Horowitz
Jean-Christophe Allais
as Jean-Christophe
Nathalie Bernas
as Younger Kissing Couple
Ghislain DeHaut DeSigy
as Younger Kissing Couple
Stephane Freiss
as François Roy
Laetitia Boetto
as Chess Player in Café
Arnaud Perron
as Chess Player in Café
Colombe Anouilh D'Harcourt
as Annoyed Woman in Café
Monique Delamotte
as Annoyed Woman in Café
Dominique Cuadra
as Older Kissing Couple
Pascal Marie-Saint Germain
as Older Kissing Couple
Nathalie Newman
as Philippe's Wife
Alexandra Chandler
as Philippe's Daughter
Joséphine Chandler
as Philippe's Daughter
Adrienne Ollé
as Woman with Stroller
Sylvia Bruyant
as Couple with Dog
Thibaut Herbet
as Couple with Dog
Ora Yermia
as Girl with Roses
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News & Interviews for My Old Lady

Critic Reviews for My Old Lady

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (26)

  • I'd praise Horovitz for going the darker route if My Old Lady wasn't so wrenchingly obvious and Kevin Kline's character wasn't so venal and cruel.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Having Maggie Smith on screen is like biting into a crisp, slightly sour apple. Even when she is playing a woman in her nineties, quilted with wrinkles, the interior is deliciously tart.

    Nov 21, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Smith's great gift is that she doesn't telegraph anything.

    Nov 21, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A soft-centred piece of movie confectionery, not without charm.

    Nov 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's too twee and theatrical to take seriously.

    Nov 18, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • My Old Lady leans heavily on the relationship between parents and children, and emphasises the damaging impact of parental absence, distance and disapproval. Yet it also suggests that there are still possibilities for change, however unlikely.

    Nov 13, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Old Lady

  • Jul 23, 2017
    Despite the exceptional talents drawn together in this movie, it gets to a point quite early on that knowing the ending really is unimportant. Kline is a deeply unlikable character and his self pitying persona sucks out all joy that this movie has potential to deliver.
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2015
    Very likable British-French-American comedy-drama written and directed by Israel Horovitz in his feature directorial début. He had previously directed 3 Weeks After Paradise, a 51-minute testimonial from 2002 about his family's experiences following the September 11, 2001, and events surrounding the New York's World Trade Center. I am not sure what to say about that one, and what category belongs to - maybe a corporate "documentary" order!? Back to this one in which we have some of the best cast I could imagine starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Dominique Pinon. I really think that the acting alone deserves this movie to receive positive review. Mathias is a washed out New Yorker, who after three divorces is penniless. After his estranged father's death he inherited an apartment in Paris and he wants to sell it quickly and start a new life back in US. Arriving in Paris, he discovers a refined old woman, Mathilde, living in the apartment with her daughter, Chloé. Our hero quickly learns that the apartment is a "viager" - an old French system for buying and selling apartments - and that he will not actually get possession of the apartment until Mathilde dies. Disappointment quickly grows when he finds out that he, in addition to that, has to pay the old lady a life annuity of 2400 a month. He contemplates his next step, stuck in Paris, paying rent to the old lady with his father's gold watch... Insignificant director with tolerable script in enchanting environment and excellent acting - this pretty much summarize the whole movie.
    Panta O Super Reviewer

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