The saddest part about Elsa and Fred is that it will not enjoy wide release. Shirley McClaine (Elsa) and Christopher Plummer (Fred) are not only endearing in their roles as two old folks who discover it is never too late for love, they fit their parts as well as one of Elsa's every present shawl's falls gracefully over her shoulders. Who else could be cast as a septuagenarian who creates her world to fit the day and a stodgy old man who emerges as a very attractive suitor. For most of her life Elsa has dreamed of being Anita Ekberg in Fellini's scene at the Fontana di Trevi in Rome in his movie 'La Dolce Vita'. In fact often it is hard to determine fact from fiction as you follow Elsa.
Fred on the other hand has been moved in next door, much to his consternation, by his daughter and her sleazy (Fred's description) husband just eight months after the death of his wife. Elsa enters his world like a whirlwind determined to bring him out of his bedroom and make him enjoy life again.
In addition to the Oscar winning lead actors the cast is rounded out with George Segal (also an Oscar winner) and James Broland (with several Golden Globes). Erika Alexander plays the care keeper tasked with looking after the curmudgeon Fred and Wendell Pierce is cast as Amande the handy man for the building.
The story takes place in New Orleans. And the 97 minutes moves along quickly. Parts of the story may be predictable but there are many parts that are surprising. The screen play is well written and, obviously, the film well cast. It is a most enjoyable movie for those looking for a good story that is at times humorous, at times uplifting, and many times poignant played by an excellent cast of well seasoned actors.