Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the drug addled biopic “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the Tom Cruise War on Drugs movie “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the Tom Cruise War on Drugs movie “American Made,” the real-life-royal dramedy “Victoria & Abdul” and Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the late-in-life love story “Our Souls at Night.”
Two of the highest-flying stars 1960s, 70s and 80s, film legends Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, reteam for the low key “Our Souls at Night.” On screen they’ve played lovers in “The Chase,” “The Electric Horseman” and most famously in 1967’s “Barefoot in the Park.” That movie portrayed the first blushes of young love. In the new film, Fonda says, “we play old people love and old people sex.”
The screen legends play Louis and Addie. Long time neighbours, both are widowers, living alone in homes that once brimmed with life and love. Lonely and alone, Addie goes next door with a proposal to a man she barely knows. “Would you be interested in coming to my house and sleeping with me?” she asks. “It’s not about sex, it’s about getting through the night.”
Their sleepovers begin innocently enough, just the sharing of some company and a mattress. As they get to know one another their life histories are laid bare. Louis cheated on his wife, an extramarital affair that left a deep scar on his relationship with his daughter (Judy Greer). Addie’s life is complicated by the sudden appearance of her son Gene (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is in no shape to look after his son, seven-year-old Jamie (Iain Armitage). While Gene figures things out Jamie moves in, completing the second-time-around family.
“Our Souls at Night” is a low-key movie about two people leading quiet lives. Louis and Addie are people you know, your grandparents, neighbours or elderly friends. Perhaps better looking grandparents, neighbours and elderly friends than we’re used to, but this Redford and Fonda we’re talking about here. They are people just looking to make a connection, to spend their remaining days in the company of someone they love. “I just want to live out my day,” says Louis, “and then come home and tell you all about it at night.” It’s touching stuff, made more effective by the presence of the leads, actors we have literally grown up watching. They feel familiar, although a little more thread bare than we’ve seen before. Redford shuffles when he walks, Fonda is delicate but as their relationship blooms the colour returns to their cheeks and the chemistry we first saw fifty years ago kick in. Their spark and naturalistic performances even help gloss over some of the more melodramatic elements of “Our Souls at Night’s” story.
“Our life is not our life,” says Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent), “it’s just a story we’ve told to others.” Such is the theme of “The Sense of An Ending,” a gentle retelling of Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning 2011 novel about human nature and the vagaries of memory.
Webster’s life is uneventful. An alarm wakes him at the same time every day. After a light breakfast he heads to his camera repair shop, puts in his hours and returns home. Occasionally he attends a birthing class with his pregnant-soon-to-be-single-mom daughter (Michelle Dockery) or enjoys a quick phone call with his cagey ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter).
A solicitor’s letter disrupts his quiet semi-retirement. Out of the blue he discovers the mother of his long ago ex-girlfriend Veronica (Freya Mavor) has died and left him something in the will. It is the diary of Adrian (Joe Alwyn) an old friend and classmate at Cambridge. Trouble is, Veronica (played in later life by Charlotte Rampling) doesn’t want to hand it over. Obsessed with getting what is rightfully his, Tony launches an investigation into Veronica and, ultimately, his own unsettled past.
Flip flopping between the present day and 1960s England, “The Sense of An Ending,” is an engaging look at what happens when the debris of a life lived enters into Tony’s well-ordered old age. The story is compelling—although the “as told to” nature of the flashbacks, complete with Margaret’s “so what happened nexts” seem a bit contrived—but the performances are bang on.
Broadbent is a careful mix of curmudgeon and charmer, a self-effacing man forced to confront and rediscover what is important to him. It’s subtle, effortless work and draws us deep into Tony’s tale.
He is supported by strong work from the women in Tony’s life, Walter, Dockery and Rampling. Each are key to the story and each help Tony on his journey of self discovery while never losing themselves or being relegated to stereotypical roles. Also worth a mention is a short but storing performance from Emily Mortimer as Veronica’s mother.
“The Sense of An Ending” is occasionally light and breezy when it should hunker down and dig a little deeper, but Broadbent and Co ensure it is never less than involving.