Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline), a penniless fifty-odd-year-old New Yorker, lands in Paris. Cynical, and at the end of his tether, he looks forward to selling the mansion house his late father owned in the Marais district. But what he finds out there just appalls him: his secretive dad had never told him he had acquired the property as a life lease, a typically French custom of which he never heard. As a consequence, not only will poor Mathias be unable to sell the house into cash (at least as long as Mathilde Girard (Dame Maggie Smith) stays alive), but he will have to pay the old lady a pension as part of the bargain.Written by
In the scene where Mathias comes back from his night 'on the bottle' on the banks of the Seine and while chatting to Mme Girard, he picks up a bottle of red with a screw cap and starts drinking from it. Screw caps in France in 2020 are still very rare and Mme Girard, who is a wine connoisseur, would never have any imported wine which may have a screw cap. See more »
Lefebvre says he bought his boat with a viager and that he was lucky because the owner died six days later. Under French law the seller must live for at least 20 days after the contracts are signed. See more »
Midway through the credits, Mathias reveals his final decision on what he will do with the apartment and why. Additionally, after the end credits Mathias asks LeFebvre where he learned to speak English. See more »
Peace Like a River
Written by Paul Simon
Performed by Paul Simon
Courtesy of Legacy Recordings
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
A pleasant surprise
My husband and I love Paris, Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith; so a film with all three was a must on our viewing list. However, we came across some pretty bad reviews and wondered whether we should see it at all. The cinema was a small one and, as we decided to go to the early afternoon show, it wasn't very crowded. We were delighted to find the three leading actors lived up to their usual high standard; the story line worked for us right to the end; and the views of Paris as well as the interior of the apartment managed to capture the mood very well. From finding it really quite amusing at first, the film took a rather darker turn two thirds of the way in; but we felt that the way it was handled sent out a very real and necessary message. I presume it could be classed as a black comedy...but this should not put you off from seeing it, and one does not leave feeling it was a waste of time or money!
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