Thoughts on Our Souls at Night (2017)

The best scene in Our Souls at Night (2017) is when Louis (Robert Redford) comes home, grabs a beer, and plops down in his favorite chair to watch the weather on TV. It’s more or less the only scene in the film in which his life feels lived in, and not as if he were only a character in a story, subservient to the plot (a waste of a romance when simple companionship in old age would’ve been much more moving and radical), or to the theme (about the burden of his past, as embodied in the stigma it brings to Addie (Jane Fonda), the symbol of possibility), or even to the music (light and fantastical, coloring his everyday actions with nostalgia). The main culprit is the editing, cutting away as soon as the scene is “done” instead of lingering to see what might come next.

The second-best scenes are crossing the bridge to and from the campsite. They’re so beautiful that not even this film had the heart to cut them short.

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