New Yorker Mathias (Kevin Kline) travels to Paris to claim his inheritance, a Paris apartment left to him by his estranged father. A recovering alcoholic with three failed marriages behind him he is in dire need of his inheritance.
On arrival he discovers the apartment is occupied by Mathilde (Maggie Smith), a 90 year old woman and her protective daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas). Under French law he is unable to inherit the apartment until Mathilde’s death. As if that wasn’t bad enough he also has to pay her rent.
The clever script reveals the damage parents can do to their children by keeping long held secrets. As Mathias begins to warm to his hosts so family indiscretions are revealed threatening to undo him once more. Mathias takes solace by foraging in Mathilde’s cellars for reprieve.
The drama is punctuated by Mathilde’s terrific use of cynicism and wit, thanks to a funny script from writer/director Israel Horovitz.
Well worth a trip to the cinema!
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