Taking place in pre-World War II England, aging sisters Ursula (Dame Judi Dench) and Janet (Dame Maggie Smith) live peacefully in their cottage on the shore of Cornwall. One morning following a violent storm, the sisters spot from their garden a nearly-drowned man lying on the beach. They nurse him back to health and discover that he is Polish. Communicating in broken German while they teach him English, they learn his name is Andrea (Daniel Brühl) and that he is a particularly gifted violinist. His boat was on its way to America, where he is headed to look for a better life. It doesn't take long for them to become attached to Andrea, and they dote on him. Other townspeople, however, have their suspicions, especially when he befriends a Russian woman, Olga (Natascha McElhone).Written by
Dame Maggie Smith (Janet), Miriam Margolyes (Dorcus), and Toby Jones (Hedley) appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise as Professor Minerva McGonagall, Professor Sprout, and Dobby, respectively. See more »
Cattle crossing the road have ear tags not used in 1936 England. See more »
Beautifully acted. The delineation of sibling rivalry between the two sisters, Ursula and Joan (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, is a masterclass in itself. And what a treat to be entertained by Miriam Margoyes. Her Dorcas is the perfect foil for the two prim spinsters.
The script is finely wrought and the understated English humour a joy. There are moments when you just have to laugh out loud. At other times your empathy for the characters moves you to deep sadness and regret at lives that have had times of sorrow or been unfulfilled.
The visual imagery in this film is evokes the nostalgic feel of an English rural landscape of sixty years ago. The beautiful cinematography was complemented by the musical score.
This is the second English film in two weeks I have been really impressed by.
56 of 70 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this