Jane Fonda and Robert Redford star in this Netflix original film. What’s interesting is that they first paired up 50 years ago in Barefoot in the Park in 1967. While we’ve certainly aged since then, there’s something about observing Hollywood stars grow older on screen – and reconnect.
Old Problems, but New Choices and Opportunities
This film thoughtfully depicts a number of the challenges we seasoned people can face today, especially loss, caregiving and loneliness. Social isolation has been found to be a major health risk later in life. Fonda plays Addie, a widow who decides that she’s had enough of loneliness and has a creative solution. Redford plays her neighbor Louis, a widower, who has also dealt with loss and has settled into a solitary life.
The film poignantly illustrates the complicated dynamics of family life and the weight of painful moments of history and regret. It artfully shows that while we can’t escape our history, each phase of life offers new choices, surprises and opportunities, if we’re open to them. It also highlights how it takes some time for our priorities to shift in life and we can learn from others.Louis learns a lot from Addie’s conclusion that at this stage of her life, she no longer cares much about what other people think.
It paints a realistic, but hopeful picture. While it has it’s uplifting moments, Our Souls at Night is not purely a “feel good” film. It’s a reflective film on the later chapters in life and openness to change that is well worth seeing.