In Holt, a small Colorado town, Addie Moore (Jane Fonda) pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters (Robert Redford). Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they’d been neighbors for decades, but had little contact. Their children (Matthias Schoenaerts and Judy Greer) live far away and they are all alone in their big houses. Addie seeks to establish a connection, and make the most of the rest of the time they have.
The last time Robert Redford and Jane Fonda starred together in a movie, The Electric Horseman, I was only a kid but I knew both actors were big film stars.
Now in the twilight of their career Redford and Fonda come together in the screen once more in Our Souls at Night and you can sense that these two people are comfortable with each other, after all this is the fourth film they have made together.
This is a low key, no frills film set in a small Colorado town. Fonda plays Addie Moore, a widow who just wants companionship especially at night. One night she knocks on Louis Waters (Redford) door and makes a proposition that they just share a bed together but nothing sexual. Waters is also widowed and lonely. Although both have lived near each other for years the families were never close and he considers her proposal and takes her up on it.
Louis is worried about small time gossip which is led by his friends in the coffee shop, Dorlan (Bruce Dern) teases him which makes Lois feel uncomfortable.
As the film progresses so does their relationship and the backstory. Addie lost a child to a hit and run accident. Louis meanwhile had cheated on his wife, the infidelity caused ructions in his relationship with his family.
When Addie’s grown up son Gene (Matthias Schoenaerts) has marital and business issues, he drops off his son Jamie (Iain Armitage) to stay with her for a short while. This is the catalyst that brings both Louis and Addie closer, although Gene makes his dislike of Louis very clear.
This is a simple albeit a slow autumnal drama with no histrionics. Director Ritesh Batra knows that he just needs his legendary actors to light up the screen. The Belgian actor Schoenaerts feels miscast, Dern is a hoot in his cameo as the chief gossip and Armitage shows what a rising talent he is as Fonda’s grandson.