Almost exactly 50 years after they played mad-about-you newlyweds in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford fall into a different kind of romance in Our Souls at Night — not so much a deep-end plunge as a gentle drift. Louis (Redford) is a small-town widower, puzzling through the daily crossword and stoically reheating frozen casseroles for one. Until the evening his neighbor Addie (Fonda) knocks on the door with a proposal: They’ve both been lonely for years; why not be alone together? “It’s not about sex. I lost interest in that a long time ago,” she promises. “It’s about getting through the night, you know? I think I could sleep again if there was someone next to me, someone nice.” He reluctantly agrees to give it a try. But even his discreet back-garden entrance — and the halting chasteness of their evenings together — can’t stop the giddy local gossip mill from churning.
Director Ritesh Batra (award-winning 2013 import The Lunchbox) leaves little doubt where their carefully meted intimacies and revelations will lead, and he moves the narrative along with all the urgency of an untethered canoe. (Though the inclusion of Willie Nelson’s warbling croon in one scene does feel like a sly callback to the stars’ last pairing, 1979’s The Electric Horseman.) Matthias Schoenaerts, Judy Greer, and Big Little Lies’ Iain Armitage drop in for small supporting roles, but the real draw is seeing these two legends together again — Redford, with his still-glorious hair and weathered-granite face, and the vigilantly gorgeous Fonda, looking like nobody’s grandma — as they fumble toward love. B