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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
Charles Dance mentioned in his Production Diary that whilst they were casting, he got a phone call from Freddie Jones (who played Jan Pendered), who, having received the script, said "P**s-poor part, but I'll do it because I'm in love with Judi Dench." See more »
Cattle crossing the road have ear tags not used in 1936 England. See more »
Yes, that's what the title really means. It's nothing to do with what they wear, in spite of the movie posters. It harks back to the days when people used to lay away linen or other fabrics in lavender to prevent moths and mildew. So what this film was saying was - these ladies have been in storage a while, forgotten - and only when the young Polish guy comes into their lives do they flicker back to life.
The usual superb performances from Judi and Maggie, what makes them so good, in Judi Dench's case particularly, is that you can *see* what they are thinking before they even speak.
Superb fingering on the violin from an actor who, prior to this movie, had never touched one - you'd swear he was really playing.
The movie was particularly poignant for me as I lived for many years in Cornwall and recognised a lot of the scenery. I can, incidentally, assure the critic who claimed a "mistake" by saying Starry-gazey pie is confined to Moushole, that this he/she totally wrong.
It may have been originally a Mousehole speciality, but like Yorkshire pudding, has long since spread to other areas.
Ladies in Lavender is one of those British films which will become a classic for its gentle theme, fantastic setting (inside and out) superb lighting and sound - and a good, strong story line.
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