My Old Lady

dir. Israel Horovitz

My Old Lady features a terrific cast – Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, and Kristin Scott Thomas among others. Set in contemporary Paris, it’s a dark comedy that at times turns to outright drama. Matthias (Kline) sells all he owns and flies to Paris to sell his inheritance (a large apartment his father left him) only to learn that the apartment is occupied by Madame Girard (Smith). Once more, due to an old French system, she is allowed to live out her natural years in the apartment while Matthias is required to pay her mortgage, a complete backfire for his get rich quick scheme.

The score is a combination of old world and new – subtle nods via accordion to the Parisian setting are coupled with chamber orchestra and a trombone quartet. The Hot Club of San Francisco provide some great source cues throughout and an aria from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” figures in the narrative, which I at times incorporate into the score. The film also includes one of my favorite Paul Simon tunes, “Peace Like a River.”

A side note – One of my favorite actors (and faces) of all time has a great turn in this film as a (somewhat) helpful real estate agent: Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children)


“With the streets of Paris as their backdrop, and a stunning score by Mark Orton, My Old Lady is a surprising and, ultimately, touching in a way that is so rare in film.”

“Mark Orton’s original music is spot-on perfect…”

“The cinematography by Michel Amathieu was so lovely and the music by Mark Orton created a beautiful backdrop of sound, enhancing the images.”

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