Our Souls At Night is a small movie in terms of intentions and scope, perfect for watching on Netflix (which also produced it) … and I mean that as a compliment. Not all movies are perfect for the big screen, or at least benefit from communal, large-scale viewing; some actually are better for being seen in the comfort of home, with a glass of wine in hand, something to nibble on, the dog wrapped around your feet, with someone you love sitting next to you.

It happens that Our Souls At Night is actually about that kind of comfort. It reunites Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in their fourth movie together (the first three being Inside Daisy Clover, Barefoot in the Park, and The Electric Horseman, a movie western about which I have really fond memories) and if they look a little weatherbeaten and tentative of step, well, they also look like movie stars, or at least like what movie stars look like when they play regular folks.

Redford and Fonda play the surviving spouses of long marriages who live in the same small Colorado town. They don’t know each other very well, and they live in respective solitude, eating alone and watching television. One night, Fonda stops by Redford’s house with a proposition: since they’re both alone and lonely, and the nights are particularly hard, why don’t they sleep together? Not have sex - Fonda just craves the presence of someone next to her, and some level of emotional intimacy. After all, they’re not yet dead.

Redford agrees to try it, and the movie slowly unfolds from there, as the connections grow deeper and stronger. There are some small surprises in the film, as shadows of past behavior come back to darken their current situation. If I have any complaint about the film, it is that it doesn’t take any real risks … I sort of wished there had been more moments of comedy, and maybe a bit of mischievousness and irreverence about their situation.

But what can i say? Our Souls At Night is what it is, and works well enough for an evening at home, spent with a loved one, a dog, a glass of wine and two of our greatest modern movie stars venturing out onto the cinema dance floor one last time together.




I had the opportunity to spend some time in Detroit this week, and if you can evaluate a place by the quality of its restaurants, then Detroit clearly is headed in the right direction.

Whether it was the squid ink chittara at Selden Standard … or the grilled trout at Grange (in Ann Arbor) … or the sweet corn raviolo at Grey Ghost .,.. the meals were all adventurous and first rate in a city that clearly is on an upswing because of considerable investment. Good for them.

It wasn’t a surprise, but the food was equally amazing at Emeril’s in New Orleans (another city that has had its share of hard times recently) this week. Barbecued shrimp. Amazing andouille and boudin sausages, with braised collard greens. And Abita Amber to wash it all down. Yum.

And then, on my way out of town, a quick stop at Mother’s, where the food isn’t fancy but the jambalaya is about as good as it gets.

(It’s been a pretty good week. And it doesn’t end … I’m really looking forward to dinner and wine at Legal Test Kitchen in Boston tonight … I’m thinking the paella would be nice …)




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Sláinte!!