In 1880's China, young Lalu is sold into marriage by her impoverished father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in an Idaho gold-mining town, the property of a saloon owner who ... See full summary »
Michael Paul Chan
WW2: In London, Lily marries a Canadian soldier who goes off to war. She and her newborn daughter are invited to come and live with his family in Canada, where conditions are not as ... See full summary »
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
For All We Know
Performed by Rosemary Clooney
Music by J. Fred Coots (as Fred J Coots), lyrics by Sam Lewis (as M Sammel Lewis).
Published by Cromwell Music Inc. & Toy Town Tunes Inc.
By arrangement with Concord Records See more »
You know the difference between your Mom's home made, hand-made-with-love cookies and the mass produced things in the supermarket? Well Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont is a hand-made-with-love movie.
I can't imagine anyone not being moved by this story of a friendship between and elderly (and still beautiful) lady and a sensitive young man of 26.
For me (not much younger than Mrs Palfrey) this was a double treat as the film contains so many wonderful old actors, people who have been in the business, excelling at their art for decades. It must have been daunting for the younger ones to be on set with all these gems.
Particularly nice to see Georgina Hale, who has the most unusual speech delivery which perfectly comes out as an 'elderly foible' in the movie but is, in fact, the way she talks all the time - wonderful! Dear old Robert Lang died shortly after the movie finished shooting, so it was dedicated to him - a fine tribute for a great actor.
There was just one tiny thing I would have liked - the backstory. It's not until 3/4 way through the movie that we realise why this obviously well-heeled lady (you have to be to afford full board in an hotel in Langham Place!) chose to move to London. Ostensibly it is to be near her grandson but he clearly has no time for her and never did. She's moved from Scotland but would have been better off in a village, a small community, not in the soulless city. So that's a bit of a problem, she simply doesn't have enough reason for such a radical change of scene.
But I'm being picky and the film deserves every plaudit - doesn't need Oscars, leave them for the glitzy trash, this is way, way above Oscar level. This is genius and near perfection.
There has been some criticism that it's too sugary, that a young man would never befriend an old lady but this is ridiculous. Though Taylor's Ludo was not quite as open-hearted as the character played so equisitely by Rupert Friend, I know from personal experience that such friendships are not only possible but frequent.
So, if you want to see some of Britain's real stars, home-made goodies every one, acting with sensitivity, humour and considerable charm, this is the film to see - take someone you love. Take hankies too.
38 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?