Two sisters engage in a subtle war for the affections of a man half their age in this British comedy drama. It's 1936, and Janet Widdington (Maggie Smith) and her sister, Ursula (Judi Dench), are a pair of elderly spinsters who share a home in Cornwall on the coast of England. After a storm, the sisters discover that someone has been washed up on ...Read MoreTwo sisters engage in a subtle war for the affections of a man half their age in this British comedy drama. It's 1936, and Janet Widdington (Maggie Smith) and her sister, Ursula (Judi Dench), are a pair of elderly spinsters who share a home in Cornwall on the coast of England. After a storm, the sisters discover that someone has been washed up on the beach in front of their house. Bringing the body inside, they discover the victim is a handsome Polish man named Andrea Marowski (Daniel Brnhl) who has suffered a broken ankle and speaks no English, only Polish and German. As the sisters patch up Andrea's ankle, Janet dusts off her old German textbook from school, and begins getting to know more about their guest. It isn't long before Janet develops an infatuation for the good-looking stranger, and attempts to teach him English, which is more than a bit maddening to Ursula, who has fallen head over heels for him -- especially after the sisters discover he's a gifted violinist and hear him display his craft on a borrowed instrument. As the sisters find themselves vying for Andrea's attention, they wonder if they should report his presence to the authorities, especially after Olga (Natascha McElhone), an attractive woman in her early thirties who lives nearby, becomes aware of Andrea's presence in the home and wants to make contact with him. Based on a short story by William J. Locke, Ladies in Lavender marked the directorial debut of actor Charles Dance. Mark Deming, RoviRead Less
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This is a gentle story about two sisters of a certain age whose hearts are still young--as their infatuation with a much younger man shows. A story best understood by others of "a certain age" (my teenage granddaughter thought it was a dumb movie). I thoroughly enjoyed watching it (but then, I'm of a certain age myself). Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are two of my favorite actresses and seeing them in the same movie was great.
Aug 12, 2010
Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are wonderful to watch!
Nov 12, 2009
A special 100 minutes at the movies.
This beautifully wrought film is a pure delight from the first frame to the last. The two Dames, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are two sisters whose lives are changed by the young man washed up on the shore below their neat little Cornish cottage.
Charles Dance's first foray into direction is a beauty. He deftly draws his characters through the story (which he scripted) and on to a climactic and emotive end from which it is hard to hold back the tears. All the actors, down to the small parts, seem to fit into their parts as though they had been written for them. But Judi Dench and Maggie Smith inhabit their Cornish cottage as though they had lived there all their lives, as though they had always been looked after by the hilarious Dorcas (played stunningly by Miriam Margoyles). Daniel Bruel as the young man is quietly up to the high standard of the two Dames, and the Cornish setting makes the film visually pleasurable and nostalgic for those who remember a time between the two great wars. This has to be one of the finest films of its genre for quite a long time. Very watchable indeed.