Mathias (Kevin Kline) is a down-and-out New Yorker who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge, valuable apartment he has inherited from his estranged father. Once there, however, he discovers a refined old woman Mathilde (Maggie Smith) living in the apartment with her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas). Mathias quickly learns that the apartment is a “viager” – an ancient French system for buying and selling apartments – and that he will not actually get possession of the apartment until Mathilde dies. While working with a Parisian real-estate dealer to sell his contract for the apartment, Mathias discovers that Mathilde and his father were lovers for more than 50 years.
THE GUARDIAN’S PETER BRADSHAW SAYS: “it’s a thoughtful emotional drama, written and directed by the veteran playwright Israel Horovitz”.