Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years ... See full summary »
Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years before. Ashby finds he enjoys their company, particularly that of Elinor, and both the women are drawn to him. Back at Oxford he is nevertheless taken aback when they arrive unannounced. Women are not allowed in the College grounds, let alone the rooms. Indeed any liaison, however innocent, is frowned on by the upstanding Fellows. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Set about one hundred years ago, in Europe and England, this tale of repressed love initially feels like a re-working of 'A Room with a View', with the list of who fell for whom slightly re-arranged. But its portrait of Victorian England seems deliberately exaggerated: a woman can't speak to a college fellow without ruining his reputation, it seems, or talk to a man after dark without being arrested as a whore. Yet there's a charm here that grows on you, in spite of its obviousness. What is perhaps a shame is the missed opportunity presented by the fact that there hero's opponent (in a college election) is an advocate of evolution, which by implication the hero opposes: but the film does not force its favourite to defend his creed. I liked odd bits of casting: Alfred Molina playing sexy, for example, and Roger Lloyd-Peck (Trigger in 'Only Fools and Horses') playing posh. But the script itself, though cute, could have done with some of the same originality.
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