Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 May 2008 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,449 users   Metascore: 67/100
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All but abandoned by her family in a London retirement hotel, an elderly woman strikes up a curious friendship with a young writer.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Palfrey
Ludo / The Writer
Robert Lang ...
Mr. Osborne
Marcia Warren ...
Mrs. Post
Mrs. Arbuthnot
Georgina Hale ...
Mrs. Burton
Mrs. De Salis
Timothy Bateson ...
Lorcan O'Toole ...
Mrs. Meyer


Mrs. Palfrey, recently widowed after a long happy marriage, moves into a London residential hotel more lively and elegant on line than in fact. She determines to make the best of it among an odd assortment of people, and she particularly hopes her grandson, a London resident, will visit. When she slips on a walk and is aided by a penniless young writer, she invites him to dine at the Claremont and plays along when her dining mates assume he's her grandson. A friendship develops giving her a companion with whom she can talk about memories and poetry and giving him ideas and support for his writing. But what of her actual family? How it plays out is the movie's story. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One Chance Meeting, Two Changed Lives See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 May 2008 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Claremont Hotel  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$105,185 (New Zealand) (25 August 2006)


$1,054,535 (New Zealand) (13 October 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song sung by Georgina Hale within the movie: "It's Never Too Late To Fall In Love" was also sung by Hale in Ken Russell's The Boy Friend (1971). See more »

Crazy Credits

One of the crew credits: Best Boy (Girl) See more »


References Sex and the City (1998) See more »


For All We Know
Music by J. Fred Coots (as Fred J Coots), lyrics by Sam Lewis (as M Sammel Lewis).
Performed by Rupert Friend
Published by Cromwell Music Inc. & Toy Town Tunes Inc.
By arrangement with Concord Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Joan Plowright Was Phenomenal
15 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You know when a director with the last name of Ireland does a film about a Scottish lady coming to London that there's got to be some major appeal.

Independent film lovers will cheer for MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT, a story with a strong script, excellent acting, and some sumptuous English scenery.

Joan Plowright (JANE EYRE, 1996) stars as Mrs. Palfrey, an aging widow who's traveled from Scotland to London to start her life anew in her sunset years. She decides to spend her waning years at a retirement hotel called The Claremont, a somewhat drab locale from what was advertised to Mrs. Claremont in a picture magazine. No matter. She makes herself comfortable, running into The Claremont's quirky staff and residents. The bellhop is a portly and sonorous balding man who mumbles more than he speaks. And the residents range from overly-nosy to irritatingly grumpy. But most want to know why Mrs. Palfrey's grandson, Desmond, (whom she calls all the time) doesn't come to see her.

One potentially rainy day, Mrs. Palfrey is returning from an outdoor excursion, hurrying home, when she stumbles and falls outside a young man's flat. The 26-year-old man's odd name is Ludovic Meyer (Rupert Friend, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, 2005). Ludy (as he likes to be called) helps Mrs. Palfrey and in return asks that she help him write a really great novel. He wants to use her years and experience to aid in his telling of the story. Ludy seems like such a nice young man that Mrs. Palfrey agrees. Ludy walks Mrs. Palfrey home and everyone at The Claremont immediately believes this to be the elusive Desmond. Mrs. Palfrey lets this deception continue and even invites Ludy over for dinner at The Claremont posing as her grandson. Everyone is smitten with Mrs. Palfrey's faux-grandson and a relationship between Mrs. Palfrey and Ludy starts blossoming.

This isn't a Harry and Maude relationship. This is a relationship not built on a scrap of sexual innuendo. It is a love of friendship and understanding that reaches deep into each of the characters and pulls out of it a fantastic end of life/beginning of life set of circumstances. The beauty of Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is that the story builds on each subsequent scene, moving us deeper and deeper into their lives. We see Mrs. Palfrey's love of her dead husband, Arthur, and the beginnings of Ludy's relationship with a beautiful young lady thanks to a movie recommendation by Mrs. Palfrey.

Although the beginning of the film takes a while to catch on (i.e., it may seem painstakingly slow to some), the ending is well worth your time. It is a story that's been told before, but not with such impact, and this is undoubtedly thanks to the strong script by Ruth Sacks based on Elizabeth Taylor's bestselling novel (no, not that Elizabeth Taylor).

Also, the filming at the New Forest Palace grounds near the Abbey at Beaulieu was some wonderful visual candy for fans of this film. It was unbelievably beautiful.

One big warning: make sure you keep a box of Kleenex next to you as the story comes to a close. You'll need 'em.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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