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Thread: Ladies in Lavender...

  1. #1

    Default Ladies in Lavender...

    Ursula and Janet are sisters. It's 1936 and they are entering the winter of their lives in their lovely large cottage in Cornwall.
    They are grey haired , typically English...middle class ladies content together. Janet a widow, Ursula a spinster of the parish.
    Then one day all hell breaks loose, in the most genteel of ways.
    For reasons which are never fully explained Andrea, a man of comparatively tender years is washed up on the rocks below their home. His ankle is broken. They tend his injury give him a bed and feed him up. With the help of the local Doctor the young man is soon resotred to full health.

    A talent emerges...courtesy of a kindly local fiddler Andrea (he's Polish you know) gets his hands on a violin. He can make it talk.
    He's a glint in his eye, a thick head of bushy young hair and a charming way about him. Ursula's head is turned. A late life hormonal surge develops in her mind and she longs to touch him. to feel him, to spend time with him. The Pole, though not unappreciative has his eye on younger distractions. The local community take him to their bosom - one or two of them quite literally.

    Meanwhile some posh Teutonic totty has turned up in a holiday cottage and 'overhears' Andrea in full flow on his fiddle.
    Suddenly, as the storm clouds gather over Europe we are tempted to think there may be something sinister happening as the two recent arrivals converse happily together in German. She just happens to be the sister of a world famous musician and Andrea senses another big break - remember the ankle - might be coming his way.

    Of course Ursula bristles at this intrusion and sees the classy Kraut as 'competition' Janet, her censorious sister meanwhile catches Ursula staring lustily at the sleeping Andrea - about to run her fingers through his hair and she' s not having it. Ursula is chided and contrite and has to content herself with a lock of that luxurious Polish barnet.

    This is a charming movie. Nothing much happens. The characters are likeable and the script well written. The shining stars though are Maggie Smith and Judy Dench...I've never been a particular fan of either but they turn in bravura performances here .

    Supporting cast include Toby Jones and David Warner who play the local Postman and Doctor respectively. The village pub scenes are excellent and Andrea's skill at skittles is outshone only by his plucking of the strings.
    Ursula's love for Andrea may remain unrequited - any other outcome might have been hard to stomach if I'm honest - but the attraction was deeply earnest , and touching to anyone who is past the first flush of youth.

    I bought this for my sister - who has wanted it for a while...rather cruelly I referred to it as 'Ladies in the Lavatory' - NO LONGER! no more mickey taking because it's a cracking Cornish caper which will not please everyone, but pleased me for a couple of hours. Five out of ten.
    Please yerself.
    Last edited by percy toboggan; 13-Mar-09 at 16:25.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Move over Johnathan Ross and his ilk!

    How can you not like Judy Dench?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    One of my favourite films,gentle,genteel and moving,for a change they used local actors so the accents were correct, but then I'm biased being Cornish!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by wifie View Post
    Move over Johnathan Ross and his ilk!

    How can you not like Judy Dench?
    Oh! ...quite easily.
    But I've warmed to here recently.

    She reminds me - ever so slightly - of my eldest sister.

    In 'Notes on a Scandal' she displayed excellent taste.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    I really enjoyed this film and unlike Percy, like both actresses. I saw it on the big screen where the scenery showed very well. It got me looking for more movies filmed in the UK.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Over the pond, but not quite over the hill yet


    I liked the film as well. Maggie Smith and Judi Dench have long been on my list of favourite actresses. The two Dames are the same age, and were born within three weeks of each other, as it so happens. To see them both in the same film is a double treat!

    Another film they starred in together was "Tea with Mussolini", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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