DOWNTON Abbey has turned renowned actress Maggie Smith into a national treasure at the age of 80. A still-busy film career proof that there ain’t nothing like this Dame.
Here, a much younger Dame, Kristen Scott Thomas, plays Maggie’s daughter in a story that explores family secrets with a dark sense of humour. It begins with down-at-the-heel New Yorker Mathias (Kevin Kline) inheriting a Parisian apartment from his estranged father. It looks like his money worries will be over when he sells the property. But, Mathias discovers there’s a snag - the 94-year-old tenant Mathilde (Maggie), and her feisty daughter Chloe (Kristen). Worse, the deal his father made when he bought the apartment from Mathilde means under French law, she can stay there until she dies. And she seems in robust good health. With nowhere else to go, Mathias has no choice but to become a cuckoo in his own nest. However, the trio soon discover they have unexpected connections, and shared skeletons bursting to get out the cupboard. With films like this and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Dame Maggie is still busy, even if she’s announced she’s quitting the treadmill of Downton.
My Old Lady
Curzon, cert 15