7.1/10
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49 user 19 critic

The Winter Guest (1997)

R | | Drama | 24 December 1997 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

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A recent widow who is determined to leave Scotland for Australia with her son gets an unexpected visit from her aging mother.

Director:

Alan Rickman

Writers:

Sharman Macdonald (screenplay), Alan Rickman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Phyllida Law ... Elspeth
Emma Thompson ... Frances
Sheila Reid ... Lily
Sandra Voe Sandra Voe ... Chloe
Arlene Cockburn Arlene Cockburn ... Nita
Gary Hollywood Gary Hollywood ... Alex
Sean Biggerstaff ... Tom
Douglas Murphy Douglas Murphy ... Sam
Tom Watson Tom Watson ... Minister
Jan Shand Jan Shand ... Café Proprietor
Sandy Neilson Sandy Neilson ... Passer-by
Billy McElhaney Billy McElhaney ... Bus Driver
Helen Devon Helen Devon ... Woman in Tea Shop
Harry Welsh Harry Welsh ... Boy in Teashop
Christian Zanone Christian Zanone ... Young Man in Church
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Storyline

The film centers on four pairs - Frances is a recent widow who wants to get away from Scotland to Australia with her teenage son Alex to escape her memories, arrival of her old mother Elspeth makes her reconsider her decision. Alex approaches his first sexual experience with neighbour girl Nita. Chloe and Lily are two old women who like to attend strangers' funerals and Tom with Sam are two schoolboys who skip school to play on the beach and talk. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No matter where you hide life will always find you See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 December 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'invitée de l'hiver See more »

Filming Locations:

Elie, Fife, Scotland, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,305, 28 December 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$776,332, 29 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Sean Biggerstaff all appeared in the Harry Potter films. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alex: Are you all right?
Frances: Don't keep asking.
See more »

Connections

References Now, Voyager (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Cush Macree
Composed by Michael Kamen and Alan Rickman
Performed by David Harrod (piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A stark and beautiful film, with existential meaning
19 July 2005 | by leonardomenderesSee all my reviews

There are other overall comments; I thought I would comment on it from a 'quiet psychological drama' POV. As the different pairs of people (mother/bereaved daughter, son/girlfriend, boys, old women) developed their stories, and sometimes criss-crossed, I saw a growing pattern in how they all dealt with their existential lone-ness and lack of drive. The fun but seemingly insignificant (at first) retired ladies hold the key the others seem to echo each in their own way: that if you have a friend, a journey of discovery, and something (or someone) to care for, you can grow in hard conditions, and move on. There are even almost mythical scenes of epiphany about this theme, but I don't know whether Rickmann or MacDonald intended this beautiful mythological pattern to answer the existential crises we face in modern times, but the richness and depth the characters grow into by the end of the film is something that really hit me. A fascinating study that follows the characters so carefully as to teach you things about yourself. Put this in your medicine cabinet for prompt temporary relief of existential despair. If they can find warmth in that bitter chill, there's hope for us too. Not for you if action movies are your thing, of course!

Meets my standard for 'movies that improved my life'.


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