'Our Souls at Night' released today on Netflix

by John Moore | Sep 30, 2017
Jordan Leigh. Our Souls at Night
'Our Souls at Night' reunites Robert Redford and Jane Fonda nearly 50 years after 'Barefoot in the Park.' Here they visit an animal-shelter adopter played by DCPA actor Jordan Leigh. Photo by Netflix.

Gentle film caps Kent Haruf's career, reunites Fonda and Redford, and employs Colorado film and theatre artists

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

The film version of Our Souls at Night, the final book by acclaimed Colorado novelist Kent Haruf, was released today on Netflix. It stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, and features a bevy of local actors.

Our Souls at Night nicely bookends the Hollywood superstars' screen lives 50 years after Barefoot in the Park debuted in 1967. In the classic Neil Simon comedy, the pair starred as young newlyweds. In Our Souls at Night, they play widowed neighbors who strike up a romantic relationship, hoping to make the most of the time they have left. The New York Times' A.O. Scott calls the couple "neighbors with benefits." And he calls the new movie: "As gentle as a moth’s wing, as soft and sweet as the flesh of a marshmallow."

Our Souls At NightThe film also features such luminaries as Bruce Dern and Judy Greer. Colorado theatre and film audiences will recognize John Ashton (Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County), Jordan Leigh (DCPA's upcoming First Date) and film actor Brock DeShane, who has a small small part as a ballroom dancer at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. 

"My junior-high drama teacher wrote, 'To the next Robert Redford' in my yearbook at the end of 7th grade," Deshane wrote on his Facebook page. "I don't think that's going to happen, but I'd like to think that, somewhere, my drama teacher is smiling."

(Pictured above right: Jane Fonda and Robert Redford in 'Our Souls at Night,' directed by Ritesh Batra. Photo by Kerry Brown/Netflix. Below right: Fonda and Redford in 'Barefoot in the Park' 50 years ago.)

'Our Souls at Night' will reunite 'Barefoot in the Park' stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.Leigh, who is an avid animal-rights supporter in real life, plays, appropriately enough, an animal-shelter worker who is paid a visit by no less than Redford and Fonda. Eagle eyes will notice an uncredited appearance by Su Teatro Artistic Director Tony Garcia.

The director is Ritesh Batra. The screenplay is written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who also wrote Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now

READ KENT HARUF'S FINAL INTERVIEW HERE


The film was largely filmed in Colorado Springs at the home of Colorado College professor David Hendrickson. The crew was based in Florence. The film was screened last night in Colorado Springs. Read the Westword report here.

Chris Kendall, Billie McBride and Kathleen McCall read from 'Our Souls at Night' at the Tattered Cover. Photo by John Moore.The sale of the movie rights put the DCPA Theatre Company's plans to adapt Our Souls at Night for the stage on hold. The Theatre Company previously commissioned and presented Haruf's entire Plainsong Trilogy, which included Eventide and Benediction, in their world-premiere stagings.

As his other novels were, Our Souls at Night is set in a fictional town on the Eastern Colorado Plains. In the final interview before his death, with the DCPA's NewsCenter, Haruf said the story is inspired by his story with his wife, Cathy Haruf.

In 2014, Fonda told Vanity Fair's Krista Smith that of all the co-stars she’s had over her career, the one she really wants to work with again is Redford. “I just love him,” she said. “The only bad thing about Redford is that he doesn’t like to do love scenes, so the fact that he didn’t look forward to those always made me sad.

"I thought maybe we could have gotten it on.”

DCPA actors read from 'Our Souls at Night' at the Tattered Cover in June. Photo by John Moore.
DCPA actors read from 'Our Souls at Night' at the Tattered Cover in June 2016. Above, from left: Chris Kendall, Billie McBride and Kathleen McCall. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Cast list:
  • Jane Fonda: Addie Moore
  • Iain Armitage: Jamie
  • Robert Redford: Louis Waters
  • Judy Greer: Holly
  • Matthias Schoenaerts: Gene
  • Bruce Dern: Dorlan
  • Phyllis Somerville: Ruth
  • Leana Lewis: Actress
  • Michael Love Toliver: Actor
  • Audrey Walters: Realtor
  • Hawley Penfold: Cafe Teenager
  • Kyrannio Margaros: Actress
  • Anthoula Katsimatides: Nursery Cashier
  • Ted Maritz: Priest
  • Kathleen Timberman: Ballroom Patron / Dancer
  • Andy Hankins: Cafe Patron
  • Pam Renall: Actress
  • Sarah Novotny: Cafe Patron / Hotel Patron
  • Erick Yokomizo: Non-Surgical Doctor
  • Fred Osborne: Table Patron at The Brown Palace Hotel
  • Michelle Fish Ullmann: Mom / Driver (as Michelle Fish)
  • Jordan Leigh: Shelter Volunteer
  • Onder Asir: Ballroom dancer
  • Erin Fasano: Animal Shelter Adopter
  • Michael Douglas Miller: Street Patron
  • Amanda Kallander: Dancer
  • John C. Ashton: Rudy
  • Brock DeShane: Ballroom Dancer
  • Barbara Ellen Carpenter: Parade Goer
  • Marty Bechina: Teacher
  • Alayna Lewis: Actress
  • Michelle Penfold: Street Patron
  • Rachel Hergert: Hotel Patron / Dancer
  • Jordan Garner: Hotel Guest / Dance Table Patron
  • Jeremy Fink: Ballroom Dancer
  • Pamela Joye Miller: Street Patron / Parade Goer
  • Bruce Penfold: Stink Eye Man
  • Joshua Rotunda: Waiter
  • Scott Swaggart: friend of Louis
  • Dianne E. Butts: Cafe Patron, Parade Goer (uncredited)
  • Maetrix Fitten: Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Lisa Kohlbrenner: Softball game spectator (uncredited)
  • Josh Outzen: Parade Goer (uncredited)
  • Randy Outzen: Parade Goer (uncredited)
  • Javana Richardson: Ballroom Patron (uncredited)
  • Antonino Garcia: Surgical Doctor (uncredited)

Selected previous DCPA NewsCenter coverage of Kent Haruf:
Kent Haruf: The complete final interview
DCPA will adapt Haruf's final novel for the stage
DCPA actors to read from Kent Haruf's final book
Video, photos: DCPA celebrates life of Colorado novelist Kent Haruf
Benediction opens as a celebration of the 'Precious Ordinary'
DCPA to celebrate Kent Haruf on Feb. 7
Bittersweet opening for 'Benediction' rehearsals
Kent Haruf, author of 'Plainsong' Trilogy, dies at age 71


2 comments

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  1. Noreen | Oct 11, 2017

    Denver jazz vocalist Myra Warren skillfully sang "What a Difference a Day Made" on the sound track, accompanied by Annie Booth, Mark Simon, Paul Romaine and John Gunther during the Brown Palace Hotel dance segment.  That vocal appears about midway in the film.

  2. Nancy | Oct 05, 2017
    Just watched "Our Souls at Night".  Beautiful performances by the whole cast.  I'm 57 years old and don't want to be a geriatric if it means sacrificing—once again—one's life.  I was so disappointed in the ending.  I don't necessarily believe in 'happily ever after' but, c'mon!  Haven't they done enough—and paid enough!

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    John Moore
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    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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