Ladies in Lavender (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Music, Mystery  |  27 May 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,940 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 109 user | 53 critic | 29 from

Two sisters befriend a mysterious foreigner who washes up on the beach of their 1930's Cornish seaside village.



(short story),
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Pendered
Gregor Henderson-Begg ...
Luke Pendered
Dr. Francis Mead
Adam Penruddocke
Olga Daniloff
Iain Marshall ...
Fisherman (as Ian Marshall)
Trevor Ray ...
Very Old Man 1
John Boswall ...
Very Old Man 2
Joanna Dickens ...
Mrs. Pendered


Taking place in pre-war England, aging sisters Ursula and Janet live peacefully in their cottage on the shore of Cornwall. One morning following a violent storm, the sisters spot from their garden a nearly-drowned man lying on the beach. They nurse him back to health, and discover that he is Polish. Communicating in broken German while they teach him English, they learn his name is Andrea and that he is a particularly gifted violinist. His boat was on its way to America, where he is headed to look for a better life. It doesn't take long for them to become attached to Andrea, and they dote on him. Other townspeople, however, have their suspicions, especially when he befriends a Russian woman, Olga. Written by L. J.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They saved a stranger from the sea and in return he stole their hearts. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| | |

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A levendula illata  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£423,313 (UK) (12 November 2004)


$6,759,422 (USA) (28 October 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The idea to do Ladies in Lavender (2004) came to Charles Dance as he worked on the film Black and White (2002); he was reading a volume of short stories by William J. Locke entitled "Faraway Stories". See more »


Cattle crossing the road have ear tags not used in 1936 England. See more »


Ursula Widdington: [Referring to the whole fish that Janet has cooked] Don't you think they look a bit sad?
Janet Widdington: Not at all
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the people of Helston, Cornwall and the people of Cadgwith, Cornwall. See more »


Referenced in The Best Man (2005) See more »


Introduction and Tarantelle Op. 43
(as "Introduction and Tarantelle")
by Pablo de Sarasate
Performed by Joshua Bell
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming little story
10 July 2005 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

Delicate and unpretentious, this story of an old lady's infatuation with a young violinist is like a refreshing whiff of air amidst the sultry stench of brouhaha "fat-cash" movies that contaminate the silver screen this summer. Its overall impressionistic and bland atmosphere of old rural England with seemingly plain, but emotionally tense story has a mollifying effect on our senses, long warped by clink-clank of special effects and overblown plots.

If one has to compare this film with other forms of art, "Ladies in Lavender" feels like a fine piece of vintage literature, transfered on screen and complemented with exquisite acting and gorgeous music. At the same time, it is so much "slice-of-life" story thanks to meticulous nuances in depicting the characters' lifestyle and subtle performances of the film's main stars.

Contrary to some reviews, I don't have an impression that the story is deficient or lacks in details. I find it rather complete and coherent. Moreover, I think that giving any additional background information on the characters would have only diluted the story. The director's objective is clearly to focus on the internal feelings of the two old sisters and for that enough information is provided in their own comments. After all, it's not the story of the stranger that is so important; but the story of their loneliness and attachment to this young man that is the cornerstone of the plot.

Not as shattering as some more action-driven movies, this film is a good treat for those who want to get away from the din of our modern life and enjoy some excellent music for precious one and a half hours.

34 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Judi Dench was too old to play the role Trimac20
BORING vegangyrlgreen
Was Ursula a virgin? rupertbreheny
doesn't he look like?? lemonkhaing
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