Blu-Ray Review: “My Old Lady” With Kevin Kline & Maggie Smith

 

Now out on Blu-ray and DVDMy Old Lady (PG-13, 107 minutes) is based on a play by revered playwright Israel Horovitzand if you’re expecting a charming comedic confection with Kevin Kline and Maggie Smiththen you’ve just skimmed the surface.

Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is an embittered 57-year-old New Yorker who inherits his recently deceased father’s Parisian apartment. Thrice divorced and in desperate need of financial liquidity, Mathias is intent on selling the domicile at a huge profit.

Kevin Kline & Maggie Smith in "My Old Lady"
Kevin Kline & Maggie Smith in “My Old Lady”

Mathilde (Maggie Smith) and her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas) are the apartment’s longtime residents, and under a French real estate law known as viager, Mathias must actually pay Mathilde, the previous owner of the state, rent until she dies. Once she passes, Mathias can immediately sell the apartment and live the rest of his life in the lap of luxury.

Although “My Old Lady” could have been framed as a light comedy wherein the initial combatants develop a profound friendship, Horovitz takes his narrative to more ambitious and darker territories, as Mathias’ flippant attitude masks a tragic past which is understandably hard to shake.

Dominique Pinon & Kevin Kline in "My Old Lady"
Dominique Pinon & Kevin Kline in “My Old Lady”

“Precision is the key to long life – precision and wine,” says Mathilde during her first dinner with Mathias. That similar quality is shared by debut filmmaker Horovitz, whose snappy and pinpoint dialogue are among “My Old Lady’s” many strengths.

With cinematographer Michel Amathieu, Horovitz bathes My Old Lady in the warmest of colors (almost as rich Mathilde’s preferred red wines), and while a healthy portion of the story is set within the apartment, there’s a refreshing sense of space within each frame. Whether it’s hitting thematic or visual notes, “My Old Lady” is that rare drama that allows the narrative, along with the characters who inhabit its universe, room to breathe.

Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, and Kristin Scott Thomas are all Oscar winners, and watching them weave through Horovitz’s cleverly crafted words is a pleasure to watch.

I’m not going to spoil the unexpected turns you’ll discover in “My Old Lady” and let you luxuriate within, as one of the character describes, “the blood of Paris.” A deft and occasionally heartbreaking mix of comedy and drama, My Old Lady thankfully doesn’t go gentle into that good night.

SPECIAL FEATURES: 

92 Street Y Annette Insdorf Interview with Kevin Kline & Writer/Director Israel Horovitz (57:33) – This is a first rate and informative discussion that’s part of the Reel Pieces movie series, as Horovitz delves into his lifelong friendship with mentor/father figure Samuel Beckett. At the end of the conversation, Horovitz also explains how a chance meeting with Alma Singer (Isaac Singer’s widow) inspired part of “My Old Lady’s” story.

Kevin Kline also talks about why he’s very picky with his projects (He’s been dubbed Kevin “De-Kline”) and he elaborates about his extensive work in the theater.

My Old Lady - Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
My Old Lady – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

 

Kevin Kline in "My Old Lady"
Kevin Kline in “My Old Lady”

 

Movie Notes:

***Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas previously played husband and wife in the drama “Life As A House.”

***Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas played mother and daughter in Robert Altman’s feature “Gosford Park.”

Giveaway: Enter To Win “John Wick” On Blu-Ray

 

Keanu Reevesalong with a talented ensemble (Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem Dafoe, Dean Wintersand scene stealer Adrianne Palicki), were terrific in John Wick, and the feature comes out on Blu-ray and DVD via Lionsgate Home Entertainment on February 3.

I’m giving out three (3) Blu-rays of John Wick. To enter the Giveaway:

  1. Please “Like” our Deepest Dream Facebook Page. Current Deepest Dream Facebook members can also enter. Our Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/deepestdream
  2. In the Comments section below – name your favorite Keanu Reeves movie and briefly explain why you love it.
  3. Once you “Like” our Facebook page and Comment, send your Email info to editor@deepestdream.com – If you’re the Winner of the Giveaway, I will email you back and ask for your address & send the Blu-Ray.
  4. The GIVEAWAY, ends Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Winners will be announced on the Deepest Dream Facebook Page. To qualify for the Giveaway, you must have a valid U.S. address. Good luck!!
John Wick - Lionsgate Home Entertainment
John Wick – Lionsgate Home Entertainment

 

Nick Carter Finds “Miracle” With “Backstreet Boys” Family

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of is a surprisingly unfiltered and even handed look at the iconic boy band that captured the hearts and imagination of millions. Twenty plus years as a group, these five men continue to tour and make music, as the documentary chronicles the making of In A World Like This (it also marked the welcome return of Kevin Richardson).

Part of the documentary has the group journeying to each of their hometowns, where they reminisce about their past while continuing to strengthen their brotherly bond.

“It was a lot of emotion,” says A.J. McLean at today’s press conference, held at Hollywood’s W. Hotel. “It was very therapeutic. We learned a lot more about each other that we didn’t know  for the last twenty plus years. And I think it actually made us stronger and it made us much more of a band.”

Nick Carter revisited Miles Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, the site where his musical dreams took flight, and his reunion with a special teacher is one of the doc’s more poignant moments. “It was hard for me to live during that five day period and sort of live through these other guys’ experiences,” adds Carter. “Seeing each one of them cry over a specific story or circumstance that occurred in their lives – it affected me and it really touched me in a lot of ways.”

During the press conference, I asked Nick Carter about returning to his childhood home and elementary school. Click on the media bar below to hear Carter:

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of hits theaters, VOD, and iTunes on Friday, January 30.

"Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of" Press Conference - January 29, 2015.
“Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” Press Conference – January 29, 2015.

 

Exclusive: “Project Almanac” Interview With Jonny Weston

Opening January 30, Project Almanac centers on David Raskin (Jonny Weston), an intelligent high school student who finds a mysterious device left by his late father. Along with sister Christina (Virginia Gardner), potential girlfriend Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) and best friends Quinn and Adam (Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista), go on an uplifting, yet ultimately unnerving, time travel journey that profoundly alters their lives.

Jonny Weston, who will also be seen this year opposite Shailene Woodley in Insurgent and Zac Efron in the EDM drama “We Are Your Friends,” has started from couch surfing as a struggling actor to landing plum feature film roles (he played surfer Jay Moriarty in the inspiring drama “Chasing Mavericks”).

During our phone interview, Weston talked about his “Project Almanac” experience and explained why acting didn’t enter his life until he turned 18.

Sam Lerner is Quinn Goldberg, Jonny Weston is David Raskin, Allen Evangelista is Adam Le, and Virginia Gardner is Christina Raskin in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay.
Sam Lerner is Quinn Goldberg, Jonny Weston is David Raskin, Allen Evangelista is Adam Le, and Virginia Gardner is Christina Raskin in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay.
David’s a genius, but is a slightly insecure guy, especially when it comes to his budding relationship with Jessie.

It was frustrating at times, because in order to play David I had to kind of focus on a lot of my insecurities I was fed up with and held back from when I was in high school. To revisit that and live in that temperament was pretty off-putting.

Was doing Project Almanac an instant no-brainer for you?

You never really know how badly you want (to do) the film until you start reading with the other actors and you start working with the director and thinking, ‘I’m going to be stuck on set with these guys in a remote town for (a number of months).’

I loved the script and the more I got involved with the people, it just got better and better. But it was a good four or five months of being told “Maybe,” “No,” or “Yes.”

To be an actor, it must take a lot of perseverance to work in this business, especially going through the rigors of the audition process.

If you love what you do, all of those things fall to the ground and break. If you want to make films because you love it or you want to make something meaningful, failure is just kind of a speed bump. So yeah, perseverance is relative – it just depends on what you want to get out of this industry.

It is what you make it, but I’m constantly surprised. It was the best part of my day – I loved it. It’s really interesting to start getting paid for something that you feel is improving you as a person as well. It’s a real trip. If it doesn’t make you happy, I wouldn’t even recommend getting started.

 Jonny Weston is David Raskin and Sofia Black D'Elia is Jessie Pierce in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay.
Jonny Weston is David Raskin and Sofia Black D’Elia is Jessie Pierce in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay.

Is that the advice you give fellow actors?

Yes. I had a talk with one of my buddies the other day. Some of my friends who’ve started acting – I really want to give them that talk. I don’t want them to get frustrated for five years and find out that they’ve wasted all their time, you know? But the rewards are endless.

Is the best education for you as an actor seeing the world and applying it to your craft? Because in the end, the more you know about your job, the better.

That’s right. That’s why I didn’t even consider acting until I was 18.  I never even considered it once. And I took this theater class on a fluke and I’m really glad I had a normal high school experience. That really grounded me.

PROJECT ALMANAC

When you’re shooting a scene, is there a key in staying in the moment?

I think that comes to making it very personal to you. Making the world and the situation seem more personal to yourself. And then you forget you’re on a movie set.

You also have to remember there is, like you were saying, that along with the training comes the understanding that it is a job and there’s a camera and you have to play to it. If you do personal work on the character, then it doesn’t matter.

The funny thing about the human mind is it focuses on the most important thing. So if the most important thing is people thinking you’re great then you will not be able to focus on the scene and vice versa.

onny Weston is David Raskin in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay
onny Weston is David Raskin in PROJECT ALMANAC, from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay

Do you like to watch your movies with an audience to get that visceral reaction?

I used to think that I’m never going to watch myself – but it comes down to a point where you’re kind of insulting everyone that you collaborated with if you don’t go and see it. It helps if the movie is really fun and the director did a great job.

Certainly it’s gratifying to see people have a real, guttural reaction to your film. But I try not to focus on that too much because I don’t want to be that person who’s looking at myself while I’m working.

Thank you so much for your time and good luck with the film.

Thank you man, I appreciate it.

“You didn’t care that all your friends could be hurt?” #ProjectAlmanac

A photo posted by Project Almanac (@projectalmanacmovie) on

Sophia Bush & Jesse Lee Soffer Talk “Integrity” On “Chicago P.D.”

Chicago P.D. members Sophia Bush (“Erin Lindsay”) and Jesse Lee Soffer (“Jay Halstead”) were at the Television Critics Association tour to promote the show’s upcoming One Chicago crossover event with Chicago FireDuring the interview, the pair talked about what they’ve learned from their research and first hand interactions with Chicago police officers.

For Bush, having integrity and a strong moral compass are key ingredients to being an effective officer. “Being a cop is tricky,” says the actress. “It’s hard and it’s dangerous and it’s stressful. We don’t take time very often to stop and think about the supreme amount of stress and anxiety these men and women are going through every day.”

Click on our video of Sophia Bush and Jesse Lee Soffer talk about what they see are the challenges of being a police officer:

Chicago P.D., which also stars Jason Beghe (“Sgt. Hank Voight”) and Jon Seda (“Det. Antonio Dawson”) airs Wednesday evenings on NBC (10 pm et/pt).

Jenny Lewis & Johnathan Rice Collaborate For “Song One” Soundtrack

Now playing in select theaters and available on VOD, Song One stars Anne Hathaway (who also produces) as Franny, an anthropology student who returns to Brooklyn after her brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield) is rendered comatose after a car accident.

After reading his diaries and listening to his compositions, Franny gradually see Henry’s passions with a less judgmental eye, and her bond to her sibling strengthens after meeting his music idol James Forester (Johnny Flynn).

Johnny Flynn & Anne Hathaway in 'Song One' - Cinedigm/Film Arcade
Johnny Flynn & Anne Hathaway in ‘Song One’ – Cinedigm/Film Arcade

Director Kate Barker-Froyland enlisted singer/songwriters Johnathan Rice and Jenny Lewis to compose original songs from the picture (the tracks were penned from the POV of James Forester).

“You have to proceed with a certain amount of openness to critique because we were creating these songs based on our idea of this character that Kate wrote. So it didn’t always resonate with her in the right way, and we would send them off in emails to (executive producer) Jonathan Demme who we’re huge fans of and to Adam (Shulman) and Annie (Hathaway), and Kate and (sometimes) the songs didn’t work. And we would have to go back to the drawing board.

But we would (often) start songs separately and then come together with the idea of the character where Johnathan would finish an idea or I would finish one of his ideas.”

The music’s tone is partly influenced by the reflective, acoustic driven musicianship of Elliott Smith. Though “Song One’s” music are unique in their own right, Lewis and Rice chose Rob Schnapf, a producer and former collaborator of Smith’s, to work on the soundtrack.

Here’s a clip of Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice collaborating with Ben Rosenfield on “Marble Song,” a track that’s featured on the Song One” soundtrack.

Kenya Moore Is Tough As Nails On “Celebrity Apprentice”

A new episode of The Celebrity Apprentice airs Monday night (NBC, 8 pm et/pt), and the past two installments have shown that Kenya Moore (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) can succeed as a project manager (she did a great job on the Ivanka Trump campaign) and she’s not afraid to speak her mind (as Brandi Glanville witnessed in last week’s episode).
Brandi Glanville, Kenya Moore -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC)
Brandi Glanville, Kenya Moore — (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC)

While sitting down with Celebrity Apprentice teammate Ian Ziering, Moore talked about the origins of her innate strength and resolve. “I was just always told to be tough,” says Moore, who was born and raised in Detroit. “And I think I’m just a natural fighter – not physically – but just fighting (and standing up) for myself.”

Click on the video below for Kenya Moore’s full answer as well as Ziering’s admission that going against Moore would simply be a bad idea!

Camren Bicondova Loves Gotham’s A-List Cast

Camren Bicondova is part of the rogues gallery of villains on Gotham, Fox’s freshman series which offers a tough as nails look at the origins of the city that spawned the Caped Crusader. The show is headlined by Ben McKenzie as tough as nails cop James Gordon, with Donal Logue as Gordon’s sarcasting (and scene stealing) partner Harvey Bullock.

To prepare for the role of Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), Bicondova had a ton of material at her beck and call.

“I’ve been reading the comic books,” says Bicondova. “I watched some episodes with Catwoman in it from the ’60s show with Adam West and the movies. Anything I can get my hands on. I even have a D.C. encyclopedia that I go back to every now and then. So it’s really cool – I get to read the script and then go back and see how everything is working.”

In the audio clip below, Bicondova explains her initial awe at being part of the talented cast of Gotham:

After last week’s takedown of Jack Gruber (Christopher Heyerdahl), James Gordon is back to his old stoping grounds with Monday night’s (Jan. 25, 2015) episode “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” (FOX, 8 pm et/pt).

GOTHAM: Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, L) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith, C) investigate a crime scene in the "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon" episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX
GOTHAM: Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, L) and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith, C) investigate a crime scene in the “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX

 

Exclusive: Catalina Sandino Moreno Headlines Visionary Tale “Medeas”

Director Andrea Pallaoro has assembled a first rate cast in Medeas, the story of the gradual disintegration of a poverty stricken family (Catalina Sandino Moreno and Brian F. O’Byrne) who reside in the middle of nowhere (the film was mainly shot in a remote stretch of land in Santa Clarita, California). Kevin Alejandro (Arrow, True Blood) co-stars as the gas station attendant who’s romantically linked to Christina (Moreno).

Moreno, whose diverse body of work includes Maria Full of Grace, Che, and the critically acclaimed A Most Violent Year, delivers a sublime and heartbreaking performance as the mute matriarch who is emotionally suffocated by her beautiful (yet desolate) environment.

Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Medeas"
Catalina Sandino Moreno in “Medeas” – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)

Though Pallaoro fills his sparse narrative with visually arresting compositions that evokes the early work of Terrence Malick (“Days of Heaven”) and David Gordon Green (“George Washington”), Medeas is a singular work from a talented filmmaker. One of the director’s bold creative strokes was to shoot his project sans any music score, as he aimed for a more naturalistic and less manipulative approach to storytelling.

During our phone interview, Moreno was effusive in her praise for Medeas (she was immediately drawn to the project after checking out Pallaoro’s book of images which inspired the storyline). Our chat with the Oscar nominated actress, who is also featured in the upcoming season of Falling Skies, is below:

Medeas locations served as another character in the story. Can you talk about shooting amidst this environment?

It was so dry – we shot it near L.A. But it was so far from everything. We were by ourselves. It was just our little location. It’s so much better to shoot on location than on a set. It makes it easier to get into character and feel isolated from everything.

The drive from L.A. (to the location) was 45 minutes. And it’s so different. Thirty minutes in, you get into a desert like feel – it was magical. It was a great location and it helped all the actors get into these characters that are very secluded and alone. They are different people living in a big house and the interactions between them are so strange but so realistic too – because you have so much freedom.

It’s so vast – they can do whatever they want. They play outside – it’s a normal childhood and it’s not like they’re living in a building with 50 apartments where they play downstairs with a couple of kids. They just have to play by themselves and their imagination is always there. That location was perfect for what Andrea wanted to do.

Medeas
Medeas – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)
Was it wonderful to work with a director with such a distinct point of view?

Yes, well of course. Every time you hear Andrea talk about movies and what this movie means for him – it’s so inspiring. And I’ve (rarely) felt this with a lot of people.

He wanted everything to be organic, real, and delicate but at the same time very raw. He knows what he wants. The camera is suddenly at a weird angle and we’re like ‘What?’ And he says (to us) ‘Just trust me, do what you want to do, this is your space, feel free to do whatever you want and then the camera will find you.’

He doesn’t do movies by the book, and he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted to do. It helped everyone see his kind of vision.

I feel so proud of this movie. You do this movie in 30 days and you never know how it’s going to come out. And it’s just fantastic – it’s great.

Maxim Knight in "Medeas"
Maxim Knight in “Medeas” – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)
Your scene with Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year is terrific. How did you get involved in the project?

I was very fortunate to know Oscar Isaac from another project (“For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada”) we worked on a couple of years ago. I’ve known him for a while and he told me about this project with Jessica Chastain and J.C. Chandor.

His character was Colombian and he had to speak a little Spanish. I (said) ‘Oh my God, of course I’m going to help you with the Spanish part. I would love to help you.’

I never thought I was going to be doing that part but then my agent told me, ‘There’s a part here where she speaks Spanish – do you want to do it?’ So it was a no-brainer. I’m a big fan of J.C. Chandor’s work. As an actor, you want to keep learning from actors that you admire and be surrounded with people you want to work with. It was great.

I met with Oscar two days before we shot the film in New York and we went through our dialogue and changed a couple of words that I thought was more Colombian than the ones that were written. He’s such a great actor and when you’re doing a scene, he’s so giving. It’s amazing. And I’m so happy that this movie is doing so well.

Do you see your acting in the same way as you did when you started?

I’ve changed my point of view on films actually. Before “Maria Full of Grace” I thought films were very entertaining and I really enjoyed watching these movies with explosions and people jumping from one building to another.

But after I went to festivals and traveled around the world, I realized how important film is. I saw people reacting to “Maria Full of Grace” in such unexpected ways. That changed something inside of my head and I’ve been trying to make movies that matter.

The film that I work with Oscar it was about the revolution in Mexico. I didn’t know anything about their revolution and as an actor, you have to prepare for that. It’s a way to keep learning.

Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Medeas"
Catalina Sandino Moreno in “Medeas” – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)

(cont.)

Right now I’m doing “Falling Skies” which is great because I’ve never touched the sci-fi part of anything. So going into that (role) I’ve learned different things. Right now I’m being more open to everything.

If you asked me that question eight years I would say, ‘No, I’m not interested in anything else. I just want to do movies that matter to people.’

You have to combine those two. I think you have to have a balance or else you get tired. I did “Maria Full of Grace” and then “Fast Food Nation” and then I did something else. And I was playing the same kind of – not the same kind of character – but it was very . . .

Going through the same kind of themes or rhythms?

Yes it was very political or very social. As an actor you just want to challenge yourself. One of my challenges was to be in “Medeas” and make people believe that I was a mute person. Those are the kind of the challenges I want to take on.

Good luck with Medeas and Falling Skies. I really loved the film.

Thank you. I’m so happy you liked the film. Thank you so much.

Medeas is playing at the Village East Cinema in New York. For Details, please go to www.medeasthefilm.com.

Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Medeas" - (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)
Catalina Sandino Moreno in “Medeas” – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)
Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Medeas" - (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Compnay)
Catalina Sandino Moreno in “Medeas” – (Chayse Irvin, The Vladar Company)

VIDEO: Monica Potter & Peter Krause On Favorite “Parenthood” Moments

 

Parenthood’s season finale is set for January 29, and through the course of its run the NBC show has garnered a devoted and passionate following. A first rate ensemble, solid writing, and universal storylines have all been signatures of the beloved show, and moving on sans the Bravermans will be rough sledding for many viewers.

Monica Potter (“Kristina Braverman”) and Peter Krause (“Adam Braverman”) sat down last week during the Television Critics Association press tour to reflect on their favorite “Parenthood” moments.

“There are those episodes (that are) kind of iconic life moments for people who either go through cancer themselves or have a family member who goes through cancer. Or if you’re a young person who gets pregnant at an undesirable time,” says Krause. “And we dealt with those things – and I thought that the Bravermans dealt with all of those things really well.”

PARENTHOOD -- "We Made It Through The Night" Pictured: (l-r) Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Peter Krause as Adam Braverman, Bonnie Bedelia as Camille Braverman, Craig T. Nelson as Zeek Braverman, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Dax Shepard as Crosby Braverman -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)
PARENTHOOD — “We Made It Through The Night” Pictured: (l-r) Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Peter Krause as Adam Braverman, Bonnie Bedelia as Camille Braverman, Craig T. Nelson as Zeek Braverman, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Dax Shepard as Crosby Braverman — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Parenthood” airs tonight on NBC (10 pm et/pt).