Our Souls at Night is what I would call an “easy recommendation”. It has a satisfying modesty that makes the viewer feel nice. It’s also a safe suggestion for fellow movie goers within the same social circles. However, it isn’t a “necessary recommendation” because that would require the film to carry more weight than expected while also pleasing the audience.
Independent neighbours Addie Moore and Louis Waters (Jane Fonda and Robert Redford) are still learning how to live life by themselves. They grieve over the loss of their soulmates, but try to find happiness in solitude. The void is too much for Addie though. Biting through the awkwardness, Addie asks Louis if he would accompany her in bed – simply for friendly companionship. These people – estranged from each other – start to build a trustworthy bond, and the audience eagerly watches the cute chemistry ignite between Fonda and Redford.
The film’s sweet sentimental value is easy to attach to, especially since its noteworthy themes of friendship and gratitude are easy to invest in. Abrupt scares from characters are shocking because of how much time we’ve spent with them, but that’s life. I suppose that contributes towards the positive message director Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) is wanting to convey with this film. We should all show a bit more compassion towards others, and take the time to learn about others and embrace them with affection.
That deeper meaning is stripped down to its basics in order for all audiences to digest it, but Fonda and Redford bring a sense of experience to their roles; making Our Souls at Night a more realized drama.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie