After surviving a gruesome terrorist attack on an Italian train line, romance novelist Mrs. Emily Delahunty (Dame Maggie Smith) opens up her home and solitary life to a trio of stranded survivors. She soon forms friendships with each, but develops a special attachment to the young orphan Aimee (Emmy Clarke). So when Aimee's distant uncle arrives to retrieve her, Emily strives to convince the cold, mourning man that Umbria is Aimee's rightful home.Written by
Mrs. Emily Delahunty's (Dame Maggie Smith's) car is an Alfa Romeo 6C-2500, produced between 1947 and 1953. It is a five-seat touring car popular with affluent post-war customers interested in a sporty yet comfortable vehicle. See more »
This film would immediately appeal to anyone addicted to Maggie Smith and the idyllic Italian countryside of Umbria, but it has unexpected delights to offer in its unassuming, almost art-house, flavour, and the low-key, but affecting, performances of excellent actors Timothy Spall and Ronnie Barker. Chris Cooper is rather wooden, but his academic, unemotional character casts a strong contrast to the hapless vagaries of Maggie Smith's Emily Delahuntey, and therefore works well.
Suspension of disbelief is required for the over-imaginative plot, almost out of one of Emily's romance novels. But the pleasure of such a film is simple, and simple pleasures can entertain as much as the richer, more complex enjoyment of films it might be compared with such as 'Tea With Mussolini' (which, of course, is a much fuller film in terms of plot, characters, script, and drama). 'Enchanted April' also comes to mind as another film where the Italian countryside is almost a character of the film and much more than a backdrop.
A very pleasant interlude for a winter's afternoon, or Spring evening, and Maggie Smith is as mannered and original as ever. I especially loved her flowing clothes, which suited her and her character very well.
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