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Ladies in Lavender (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music, Romance | 27 May 2005 (USA)
Two sisters befriend a mysterious foreigner who washes up on the beach of their 1930's Cornish seaside village.

Director:

Writers:

(short story),

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The story of two sisters who saved a stranger, and the stranger who stole their hearts. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A levendula illata  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£423,313 (United Kingdom), 14 November 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,224, 1 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,759,422, 30 October 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maggie Smith and Judi Dench were performing together in a West End play when they received the scripts. They consulted each other, and decided to do the project. See more »

Goofs

Coley is frequently mentioned as a cheap local fish. Locals confirm that coley was pretty much unknown in Cornwall in 1936 - far more likely would be ling or pollack. Additionally, "starry-gazey pie", of which the fish was to be an ingredient, is unique to Mousehole, about 30 miles from the supposed location in the film. See more »

Quotes

[Dorcas stuffs a chicken while Janet listens to the radio in the next room and Andrea practices upstairs. Janet turns off the radio and comes into the kitchen]
Janet Widdington: Doesn't sound good. I can't listen anymore.
Dorcas: Don't know how you can stand it. Sounds like a strangled cat.
Janet Widdington: I meant the news!
Dorcas: Oh, right.
Janet Widdington: Do we have any parsnips?
Dorcas: Bit early for parsnips. Plenty of spuds, though.
Janet Widdington: Well, we shall have to have extra spuds. Potatoes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Clatterford: Ladies in Lavender (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Maggie Smith is the understated star
12 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This film bursts into life in a few electrifying scenes - but these scenes are perhaps muted by the general leisurely air of the whole.

What can be said is that this film belongs to Maggie Smith: although Judi Dench has the lovelorn role of the smitten sister, it is Dame Maggie who has the wider variety of emotions, the presence, and the charisma which gives the film the energy it needs to involve the viewer. A case in point is the scene where Dame Judi has her point of emotional release - and Dame Maggie tops it with just the slightest nuance of phrase. Indeed, hers is a performance of subtlety and delicacy, so understated and insightful, that it recalls the outstanding work that she did in "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne". If it was up to me, Dame Maggie would be right up there in contention for the Oscar and BAFTA.

She is, of course, perfectly paired with Dame Judi, who creates a portrayal of both pathos and charm. There is such rapport between the two that it wipes away memories of the caricatures of "Tea With Mussolini" and replaces it with genuine truth and humanity. The two dames are underscored by the comic bluster of Miriam Margolyes and the suspicious lusting of David Warner.

This is a film of emotion and elegance. If it lacks narrative drive and dynamic then it is more than made up for by the space created for the talents of the actors. It is a film which lives on in the memory - and for that we mainly have to thank the performance of Maggie Smith.


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