Lydia MacMillan, a wealthy old woman who has never married, is invited by an old beau, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, for a reunion with the men who have been in her life to reminisce about the ... See full summary »
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Lydia MacMillan, a wealthy old woman who has never married, is invited by an old beau, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, for a reunion with the men who have been in her life to reminisce about the times when they were young and courted her. In memory, each romance seemed splendid and destined for happiness, but in each case, Lydia realizes, the truth was less romantic, and ill-starred. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The poem Richard finds and reads at the cottage is "Lalla-Rookh" (or Lala Rukh) written by Thomas Moore and published in 1817. In this poem, Lalla Rukh is the daughter of Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor. She is promised in marriage to the King of Bactria but falls in love with a poet she meets on the way to the king's palace. When she arrives, she collapses but comes to when she hears a familiar voice. The poet with whom she fell in love turns out to have been the king is disguise. See more »
Worth seeing for Edna May Oliver's final film performance
Intriguing plot about an old woman (Merle Oberon) reflecting on her youth, although the result is imperfect. The dramatics are the film's weak spot, as the plot is a quite contrived, especially concerning the orphanage for blind children.
The camera framing and cinematography display flashes of technical ingenuity at various points throughout the film, such as when Lydia and a local fisherman share a conversation against the backdrop of a fireplace. An early flashback's evocations of the bliss and idyllic nature of memories offer a remarkably fresh take on nostalgia. Sadly, these flashes of creative ingenuity are few and far between, and
Oberon, who I've never been a huge fan of, is very touching and insightful while playing the older Lydia. Ruminative and able to find humor in the way her life has unfolded, she does a great job of reflecting on her life as an extremely successful woman who has sacrificed romance in her path to greatness. Unfortunately, she relapses to her usual shrill gracelessness for much of her performance as the younger Lydia, making her performance a wash on the whole.
Edna May Oliver, in her final film performance, is a joy to behold in a signature tough-as- nails New England spinster role. She's hilarious (as usual) and oftentimes touching. The other supporting actors are uniformly dull and uninspiring, including Joseph Cotten, who I normally love, as one of Lydia's former loves.
Overall, the film isn't as poignant and insightful as it might have been, given the storyline, which is disappointing. It's not exactly memorable outside of Oliver's performance, although it's not the worst movie I've seen and worth a viewing.
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