Written and directed by Nic Fackler. With Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn, Adam Scott, Elizabeth Banks.
"Home," the offscreen narrator intones, "can be a place where our most cherished memories live." But seventysomething Robert Malone (Martin Landau) lives alone when we first see him. He slaps the alarm clock, flosses, goes to work doing not much of anything in the supermarket run by young, officious Mike (Scott, who was Will Ferrell's snooty sibling in Step Brothers). Then Mary (Burstyn), a woman his age, enters Robert's world, and the old fellow perks up. As Christmas nears, and despite the misgivings of Mary's daughter Alex (Banks again), Robert begins a courtship: taking Mary to dinner, shopping for the right present, daring to imagine that this lovely stranger could be someone to spend a life with.
The actors and their director are generations apart: Landau is 77, Burstyn 75, Fackler (his first feature) a green 24. His close-ups of their lined faces are not so much remorseless as ethnographically curious; he may be too young even to see his future in them. But the two leads, both distinguished stars and Actors Studio teachers as well as graduates, reward the camera's severe scrutiny. They can bring small revelations to the business of being watched. Loving, Still has enough soup and soap to stock a mess hall, and a third act that is a bit Twilight Zone, a bit common destiny. The film's payoff may be as upsetting as its initial sentiment and that's a blessing, if movies are ever to remind us of what awaits us outside the theater.