Verena Steynton is holding a party for her daughter. All the aristocratic families of Strathcroy in the Scottish Highlands are attending, with all their guilty secrets ... Lord Archie ...
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Clarence John Ryan,
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Verena Steynton is holding a party for her daughter. All the aristocratic families of Strathcroy in the Scottish Highlands are attending, with all their guilty secrets ... Lord Archie Balmerino, a crippled war veteran and his long-suffering wife will be there. Edmund Aird, a wealthy entrepreneur, and his beautiful American wife have been invited. And Pandora, Archie's exotic and mysterious sister, who disappeared from the village 20 years, is returning, under a cloud of suspicion. Only Edmund and her brother know the secret of her flight from home. But the rumors are the flying and the local families feel that Pandora's return can only bring bad luck. When a lifeless body is found in the loch, the tension rises. Why has Pandora come back after so long? What are her motives? And her return already had deadly consequences?
I loved this film for the beautiful story of the interwoven lives of a family and friends in a community, with a bit of mystery running through it. As the film opens, everyone is looking forward to September when the end of summer will usher in fall and the ensuing winter. In the film the change of seasons symbolizes change in the lives of the characters while the coming dormancy of winter symbolizes death. The family matriarch and a granddaughter will be celebrating birthdays the same week in September, the enigmatic Pandora will return to the favorite place of her youth, and eight-year-old Henry and his parents contemplate the boy's bittersweet departure for boarding school.
The reason for Pandora's suicide is given in the letter she leaves for Archie, portrayed by Edward Fox. The lady has incurable cancer and would rather die painlessly in the place she has loved throughout her life rather than in a cold, sterile hospital. Throughout the story are hints about the child she miscarried and what the child might have been. She tries to compensate for the loss when she takes young Henry on an outing in the village.
The "sad American," the former boyfriend of Virginia, has been touched by the death of his wife, and he also relates to the change in seasons. However, the coming wedding of Alexa and her boyfriend (presumably to take place the next spring, the time of rebirth) gives a note of optimism to the film, and the anticipated event shows the continuity of life and the future of the family.
In only one viewing this has become one of my favorite films, and I recommend it very highly.
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