Our Souls at Night (2017)
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If that theorem is to be proved anywhere, it would be in this wonderful movie.
This may be a shock to the younger IMDb members, but at one time Redford and Fonda were not merely the biggest stars in Hollywood but also the biggest sex symbols in the biz.
If in 1967 -- please put on your time travel, butterfly effect, hats here -- you had suggested to these two that a full half-century later they would star is a laid-back but irrefutably charming rom-com where, in the very first scene, Fonda shows up at Redford's door and politely asks if he would mind sleeping with her ... well, let's just say that a raised eyebrow would be least you could expect in return
The script is so subtle (a word I have astonishingly used only a very few times in some 1350+ reviews here) that the viewer does not know whether to laugh or cry. Even the way Redford's character chooses to initially respond to the invitation -- not by a 411.com search, but by looking up Fonda's phone number in a handwritten address book his late wife had left behind -- brings an unavoidable smile to those who grasp the passage of time.
The dialog is a joy. It has ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and most importantly never quite heads in the direction you expect it to.
In fact -- this for film historians only -- it may be a true breakthrough in concept. Remember that in the 1970s scriptwriters tried to "take the rom-com up a notch" by deliberately cutting out the "boy meets girl" portion of the traditional formula. Dozens of rom-coms since that era have started with the very first scene taking place "the morning after," leaving the audience to wonder how the original romance blossomed, before getting caught up in the subsequent events.
In that context, the premise here, if this film resonates with people in the months and years to come, could become a milestone in rom-coms. And deservedly so.
Both Fonda and Redford gave nuanced performances which were very relatable, especially if you are over the age of 60. I doubt that very young adults would find much to enjoy about this picture, and that is a shame because in fact it displays well the one thing which people cannot lose if they are to continue enjoying their lives into their last decades, and that is hope.
So often younger people do not appreciate the wisdom and humanity which both come with age. Nor do they realize that if they are lucky, they, too, will be old one day.
If you want a sweet look into lives of the older but certainly not dead yet, this would be a good place to do so.
It is a beautiful story of old aged woman and man who were living alone for years after their spouses have died. They break silence and start sleeping over same bed only to escape loneliness. Both of them continue talking and gossiping about their past lives, happy moments as well as regrets. Their children have grown up and are living their own independent life. Film is an emotional drama, warmth in relationships, and shows sense of human life in dialogues. It explores psyche of old age through their responses to life circumstances. Film end up teaching many life lessons through these characters. Addie regrets that she has spent years thinking what people would be talking about her.
Film is adapted from the novel of same name by Kent Haruf, who died just few weeks after publishing his last novel.
There is a bit of all of us in these characters.
Robert Redford is a lonely widower, and his neighbor Jane Fonda is a lonely widow. After dinner one night, Jane knocks on his door and propositions him. "Would you be interested in coming to my house some nights and sleeping with me?" she asks. She explains her reasoning: they're both lonely, and she thinks it would be easier to get through the night if there was someone beside her to talk to. Her intentions are entirely honorable, and when Bob agrees, they strike up a friendship that just might lead to more.
This movie is so cute! They put a long gray wig on Jane to frump her up a bit, but she's still beautiful and vibrant, and Bob is as handsome and sweet as he was decades ago. When you watch the movie, it doesn't feel like you're watching a 79-year-old and an 81-year-old. They've both aged so well; it feels like a love story between two folks in their late-sixties.
The plot is pretty simple, but it doesn't have to be complicated. We're watching it for the eye candy of Bob and Jane! With her gray Gibson bun, Jane seemed to channel Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond, and I found myself hoping that Hollywood would remake the classic film with Jane in the lead. She could reunite with costar Bruce Dern from Coming Home, who's also in Our Souls at Night, and Laura Dern could play the daughter. Everyone would go see it! If the Derns were unavailable, the story could be tweaked to widower and his sister, rather than husband and wife, and Peter Fonda could join Jane in the lead role. Bridget Fonda could come out of retirement and round out the cast—there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house! But enough of my On Golden Pond fantasy. Go watch Our Souls at Night, exclusively on Netflix, and fall in love with Bob and Jane all over again. It's truly charming, and it makes for a very sweet and fun evening.
Now in the twilight of their career Redford and Fonda come together in the screen once more in Our Souls at Night and you can sense that these two people are comfortable with each other, after all this is the fourth film they have made together.
This is a low key, no frills film set in a small Colorado town. Fonda plays Addie Moore, a widow who just wants companionship especially at night. One night she knocks on Louis Waters (Redford) door and makes a proposition that they just share a bed together but nothing sexual. Waters is also widowed and lonely. Although both have lived near each other for years the families were never close and he considers her proposal and takes her up on it.
Louis is worried about small time gossip which is led by his friends in the coffee shop, Dorlan (Bruce Dern) teases him which makes Lois feel uncomfortable.
As the film progresses so does their relationship and the backstory. Addie lost a child to a hit and run accident. Louis meanwhile had cheated on his wife, the infidelity caused ructions in his relationship with his family.
When Addie's grown up son Gene (Matthias Schoenaerts) has marital and business issues, he drops off his son Jamie (Iain Armitage) to stay with her for a short while. This is the catalyst that brings both Louis and Addie closer, although Gene makes his dislike of Louis very clear.
This is a simple albeit a slow autumnal drama with no histrionics. Director Ritesh Batra knows that he just needs his legendary actors to light up the screen. The Belgian actor Schoenaerts feels miscast, Dern is a hoot in his cameo as the chief gossip and Armitage shows what a rising talent he is as Fonda's grandson.
When Addie (Jane Fonda) appears on Louis' (Robert Redford) doorstep one day, she has a remarkable request. A stunned Louis mulls it over and agrees, and the two virtual strangers begin an offbeat relationship that forces each to face the ghosts of their pasts as they gingerly move toward one last love.
There are no histrionics, no emotional explosions, as they begin to know one another and their family members. He has an estranged daughter who has never gotten over his abandonment of his family 40 years before. She has a bitter son who has always felt she blamed him for his sister's death 40 years before.
What heals them and brings them all together is a lonely boy (her grandson) who gets dumped on Fonda after his mother runs off. Together, Fonda and Redford reach out to the boy and they become an odd but loving family unit with the inclusion of an unwanted rescue dog.
Can the idyll survive? Will the demands of family tear them apart? In the hands of two great stars, the roles of Addie and Louis are delicately yet firmly portrayed as people who have made mistakes but who move on with their lives. You can't change the past ... and you shouldn't forget your mistakes.
Co-stars include Bruce Dern, Phyllis Somerville, Judy Greer, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Iain Armitage as the kid.
Belgian-born Matthias Schoenaerts steps up as Addie's judgy, resentful grown son, the only non-life-affirming character in sight (not counting Bruce Dern's cameo as the same small-town a**hole he played in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska"). Iain Armitage ("Young Sheldon"!) is convincing as Addy's grandson, a mopey video gamer who learns to appreciate the old-school distractions of a train set and a rescue dog.
The only problem is, IMHO, that episodes that were portrayed as flashbacks in the novel are dispatched in a few lines of reticent dialogue in the film, which flattens out the dramatic highpoints and makes Addie's life-changing decision in the final scenes seem a bit contrived. Otherwise it's all good---definitely worth watching, though be prepared for a slight letdown towards the end.
Little slow paced, but nice change from the movies out there. At first I did not think I would like it, but loved it.
Loved the part with the guys in the coffee shop and how jealous they are, that one of their own is finding a new life and enjoying his life.
I would recommend this movie to everyone.
Loneliness does not choose any life stage in particular, as we see it with Addie's grandson, Jemie, who has already been introduced to this hollow feeling at the age of ten.
The active phase of life provides multiple tasks to distract us from having a glimpse beyond that daily micromanagement process. At a young age, we can't imagine any relationships developing without an edge. We find them lacking if it's not a white knuckled-ride.
It's refreshing how naturally and smoothly Addie and Louis' connection was growing with no need for any obvious signs or loud words, drama, or declarations. Their story is an enviable example of how much tact and respect two people could radiate towards each other and people around them and how strong and accepting we could be in our relationships.
I love how delicately the warmth of the newly revived intimacy is pictured with no emotional manipulations or clichés to ruin it. This soul fulfilling story is definitely a pleasure to watch.
And so, though I think it would be fair to say that this effort by Redford isn't going to set the world on fire (it's a slow pace), it's a decent film that shows the challenges of getting old, but not in the usual weeper. And in fact, the film doesn't end the way you kind of expect it to...which is good. Redford and Jane Fonda really show their craft here -- good, solid acting that makes you care about the characters.
It's also interesting to see Iain Armitage, the boy who is "Young Sheldon". Although it was filmed the same year as the beginning of the television show, he seems so little here.
All in all, this is a good movie for mature audiences. We all get to where these characters are, but it doesn't mean that life can't be full.
Somebody please shoot me if I end up as boring as these two old fools in the current effort. Their stilted conversations are only outdone by the contrived and inauthentic "plot". And if I'm ever surrounded by townspeople like in this movie who demand to know, at age eighty, how my sex life is, please shoot them too.
The dog that the grandson adopted was cute though.
Two senior citizens. The woman comes up with the strange idea that her male neighbour sleeps with her for soporific purposes only. He has nothing better to do, so he accepts. She starts using him as a talking sleeping pill. He panders to her exploitative "communication" gimmick without reservation. She dumps him. He goes back to his routine. Alone again and in another city, she feels nostalgic. He is too, that's why he sends her a present, including a mobile phone. After some hesitation, she calls him in the middle of the night (she realizes she can use him again for her sleeping disorder - 'cause human, she's not! - by learning how to use a mobile phone) and the movie ends on a happy note: even if she's far away, she's finally learnt, in her old age, how to use a mobile phone in order to continue to use another human being who is more masochistic than her.
An absolutely terrible excuse for quality drama.
Young people, don't see this film. You'll hate your elders for their stupidity.
Old people! Buy a mobile phone while you can!