After an abandoned young woman in late 19th Century England is taken in by a rural couple with three handsome sons, tragic consequences result.After an abandoned young woman in late 19th Century England is taken in by a rural couple with three handsome sons, tragic consequences result.After an abandoned young woman in late 19th Century England is taken in by a rural couple with three handsome sons, tragic consequences result.
Our heroine is a poor girl who's been seduced by a handsome, charming man who leads her to believe he loves her and will marry her. And after a month or two, he has vanished. She's left pregnant and decides to walk to the town where he said was his home (about 30 miles away). By then, she is very pregnant, it's rough terrain in terrible winter weather. She has no nourishment nor money. She miscarries along the way and the baby is formed, but dead. It's a tragedy. After a few more days, she makes it to the town where he said he lives, but no one knows him. Thankfully, she finds a kind man who takes her into his family's home. He can see she's young, ill, and desperate for a place to stay. The man and his wife have three handsome, unmarried sons who are living at home with them. When the poor girl has had a few days of rest and recovery, she gets cleaned up and dressed. It turns out she is quite pretty and charming. Slowly, tensions begin to mount as one by one, the young men make it known to her that they want to court her.
In her kindness, and mannerly ways, (and in a state of confused grieving, too, I'd say), she doesn't make herself clear enough to each of the young men. There are some misunderstandings....
The youngest son, Con, played beautifully by Ben Chaplin, is painfully shy and awkward. He stutters some and doesn't seem all that bright. But his strong desire for more in life, his jealousy of his brothers and his family in general, his overwhelming passion for HER is as clear as a bright blue sky. Eventually, he gets up the nerve to propose to her and she accepts him. They are floating on clouds, telling all the townspeople of their upcoming wedding and their joy.
Unfortunately, their happiness doesn't last long, as the cad who abandoned her is just around the corner and they are about to have a fateful encounter with him.
I won't go any further, but let me tell you that Ben Chaplin's performance is haunting. Haunting. You can see the anxiety, frustration, temper, and his impulsiveness in his entire manner. His passion for her is so strong, it seems he will just explode with it.
For steamy kissing scenes and almost-sex scenes without nudity, they don't get any better than this. I caught my breath a couple of times and may have moaned! Embeth Davis and Ben Chaplin were beautiful together. Simply beautiful throughout the film.
It's a very well-told story that seemed so real-to-life. It's still timely, or should I say "timeless". If you like historical romance and period pieces, don't miss it. It's lovely.
- May 16, 2011