Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a long-married, struggling couple who decide to visit Paris for their anniversary in hopes of enlivening their dead marriage. Yes, this sounds like the stage is being set for a clichéd march through marital woes and getting older, with Paris as a background. First off, it doesn’t matter where this movie is set. The city is completely irrelevant. What does matter is that Broadbent and Duncan deliver one of the most brutally funny, honest and realistic older married couples that the cinema has seen in many a year. Throw in Jeff Goldblum as the crazy friend and writer who unabashedly adores them, and you have a movie that will constantly take you by surprise. Directed by Roger Michell (Venus, The Mother), it has a script that never bores, a sense of humor that provides consistent laughter, and a surprising amount of darkness to go with the smiles. Goldblum is hilarious, another great performance for him in a year that has started well for the underrated actor (He’s brilliant in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel). Broadbent, Duncan and Goldblum are each given moments where they shine as tremendous, individual performers as well as ensemble players (Broadbent has a dinnertime confession speech that is the best thing he’s ever done). This is a great movie about making a relationship work despite all the emotional and financial insecurities, and also a great movie about the virtues of blunt honesty.
Director: Roger Michell
Producer: Philip Knatchbull, Sue Smith, Louisa Dent, Bertrand Faivre and Kevin Loader
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum, Olly Alexander, Brice Beaugier, Charlotte Léo, Xavier De Guillebon, Marie-France Alvarez, Denis Sebbah, Sébastien Siroux, Lee Michelsen and Judith Davis