Along with Glenn Close, Meryl Streep hosted a premiere screening this week of Israel Horovitz' My Old Lady at MoMA. Her family in tow, husband Don Gummer and daughter Mamie, she was celebrating her pal Kevin Kline's lead performance in this charming romance set in Paris, as well as Horovitz' debut as filmmaker. At 75, Israel Horovitz, author of 70 stage plays, took this one, popularly performed all over the world in many languages, and adapted it for the screen. His daughter Rachael Horovitz produced. He got Kevin Kline, as he recounted introducing the evening: at last Kline gets the girl. Horovitz got Dame Maggie Smith to play the titular old lady because at least she doesn't die.
Kevin Kline plays Mathias Gold, a down-and-out American who inherits an apartment in the Marais of Paris from his estranged father. However, occupied by Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith) and her daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas), the apartment cannot be sold because of a French law. This tightly crafted movie is all about the real estate, until it becomes about family, secrets, and love, all irresistible but Francophiles will especially enjoy the feeling of neighborhood Paris, the gardeners, antiques dealers, and chess players in cafes.
Streep and Co., Close, now in rehearsals for Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, and Kline left early. But a fine group stayed on for the after party, including Billy Magnussen who had just come from shooting downtown in a new Spielberg movie, St. James Place, and Gina Gershon, just returned that morning from, where else, Paris. When asked what was the hardest part of adapting his play, Horovitz replied, making a movie. As of this writing, a production of the play is scheduled for December 5 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, to star Angelica Page and Estelle Parsons.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.