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    An Analysis of the Firm Honesty and Balanced Performance of the Film, My Old Lady

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    My Old Lady is dark, yet completely heartfelt. This charming film is carried by the incredible chemistry between Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith. Their inherent tension ultimately reveals each character’s biggest insecurities on screen. Seeing these human qualities unfold is a truly unique experience, even for someone completely outside the film’s target demographic.

    From its elegant setup, it is clear My Old Lady is based on a play. The French landscape is a natural fit for the film’s notions of tragedy, love, and time. However, every key dramatic point takes place in Mathilde’s apartment, which is a feat in itself. Mathias’s stunning transformation from cell phone pictures in the backyard to his final moments on screen with Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas) expresses the beauty of focusing on one location.

    Maggie Smith’s performance is equally metamorphic. In the exposition, she provides comedic relief with the light-hearted charm of an elderly, wine-loving lady. But about a third of the way into the film, the tone shifts completely as her adulterous tendencies are revealed. The audience perspective dramatically shifts largely because of Smith’s convincing work. She is fragile, yet unapologetic and resilient.

    Despite the film’s focus on middle aged and elderly people, it’s truly about coming to terms with resentment toward parents. My Old Lady dissects these familial issues with an authentic approach to the human condition. Even 90-year old Mathilde admits to making deep mistakes. She may appear cheerful on the surface, but subconscious guilt can be the heaviest burden to bear.

    to escape the pain. However, the film’s return to its initial playfulness during this moment of decision is endearing. It illustrates the power we have over our lives, despite the decisions of others.

    The film’s central piece of music, as heard in the film’s opening and final scenes, perfectly captures the heart of My Old Lady. The main melody is played on an accordion, which tonally has the unique ability to sound whimsical and melancholy at once. The strings dance between major and minor chords, emphasizing a similar emotional landscape. The timbre of these instruments also pays tribute to the film’s root in French culture.

    During Kline’s suicidal monologue, the score thoroughly enhances the performance by balancing out what could be interpreted as an overdramatic sequence. Much of this scene is carried by silence, but music subtly enters the scene as Kline’s tears begin falling. Silence is an often forgotten musical tool, but it can ultimately determine the effect of harmonic sections.

    For example, music patiently waits to enter as Kevin accompanies the lone opera singer. An immediate entrance would feel forced and possibly project the wrong feeling. The slow crescendo into their duet expresses the film’s charm and honors the original play.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    An Analysis of the Firm Honesty and Balanced Performance of the Film, My Old Lady. (2022, Dec 21). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/an-analysis-of-the-firm-honesty-and-balanced-performance-of-the-film-my-old-lady/

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