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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
Mains electricity, gas lighting and indoor flush toilets were unlikely to be present in remote village houses in 1936 Cornwall. See more »
[Ursula sits by Andrea's bed, watching him sleep. Dorcas bursts in]
[she glances at Andrea, then says just as loudly,]
Do you want tea?
Shh! You'll wake him up! I think I'll wait until Janet gets up from her nap.
Well, she's up.
Is she? She hasn't been long. All right, I'll be down directly.
[she turns back to Andrea]
He isn't gonna run off.
[Ursula shoots her a look. Dorcas slams the door as she leaves, waking Andrea]
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Special thanks to the people of Helston, Cornwall and the people of Cadgwith, Cornwall. See more »
Beautifully acted. The delineation of sibling rivalry between the two sisters, Ursula and Joan (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, is a masterclass in itself. And what a treat to be entertained by Miriam Margoyes. Her Dorcas is the perfect foil for the two prim spinsters.
The script is finely wrought and the understated English humour a joy. There are moments when you just have to laugh out loud. At other times your empathy for the characters moves you to deep sadness and regret at lives that have had times of sorrow or been unfulfilled.
The visual imagery in this film is evokes the nostalgic feel of an English rural landscape of sixty years ago. The beautiful cinematography was complemented by the musical score.
This is the second English film in two weeks I have been really impressed by.
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