Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another movie: My Old Lady

There are going to be a lot of films in my life this fall. This week, fewer than last.  The foreign movie of the week at the college was an oldie that made me feel very old indeed. Fellini's first Oscar for best foreign film, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, three farcical sketechs with unbelievably youthful Marcello Mastroiani and Sophia Loren. The sketches have aged into ridiculousness. The two who were in each section are just gorgeous but did far better work later in their careers.

This week I didn't go to any documentaries -- the ones shown I'd seen and didn't wish to see again. But today I went to see the new My Old Lady with many reservations.  I'm not a Maggie Smith fan  but no one else could have been more perfectly cast. Originally a  play by Israel Horowitz, it began a bit broadly but developed into a much deeper and more complex story  between Kevin Klein, Maggie Smith and Kristan Scott-Thomas than I expected. It's not really a spoiler to say that I think we Americans, as a people and especially writers, make too much fuss about extra-marital affairs. But given that attitude the story becomes truly tragic-comic. The three carry the movie. This was a play, the screenplay adapted by Horowitz, and another Horowitz was the independent producer. The  story depended on character and uncovering a difficult past.  As so often small Broadway plays a man's lack of success in life goes back to family trauma.  My quibble would be that about five minutes from the end there was a very dramatic bit I thought was overdone, too Hollywood drama-ish. But the movie redeemed itself with a touch of opera at the end  -- I mean operatic music that I didn't expect and absolutely loved.  Only an indy film would put in that operatic bit.  Hurray!

7 comments:

Lynn Guardino said...

For a fix of operations, food and scenery, "The Trip to Italy" might fill the bill. Not sure you would like all the dialog and banter.

Lynn Guardino said...

Ha ha,,,,,that damned spell checker foiled me again....it was to say "opera" not "operations" but it is kind of funny because operations do fix things.

June Calender said...

I saw the trailer twice for "The Trip to Italy" - food and landscape look great, I couldn't understand the accents and missed the fun of the banter. I may go see it next weekend.

barbara judge said...

Fantastic that you are going to be viewing many of these art movies this fall. Thought the indie site I found would have had some of the films you mention but it seems that they only have pop culture types. Hmm. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara, the woman who does the documentary film class that I take usually finds her films through the local library system, often if they don't have it they'll get it from elsewhere in the system. You might try the libraries where you are, although the indy films may need to be out a few months before they are made available to libraries.

Cindy said...

Thanks — as always! — for the insightful review! I'm looking forward to seeing this. And yes, I'm a Maggie Smith fan already. (Sorry?) -- Cindy

June Calender said...

No apologies needed, Cindy. She's a fine actress. Favorites and such are a personal thing.