Mrs. Palfrey (Dame Joan Plowright), 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 amongst 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 penniless young writer Ludo (Rupert Friend), 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
Beaulieu Palace House, where some scenes in this movie were filmed, is an owner-occupied ancient palace, dating to the fourteenth century, with parts of the house and gardens open daily to the public. It is a member of the Treasure Houses of England consortium, and the National Motor Museum, founded by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, occupies a separate building on the estate. Lord and Lady Montague and their son, Jonathan Douglas-Scott-Montagu, received an on-screen "special thanks" credit. See more »
Dan Ireland has created a very touching movie about the dignities and indignities of life intertwined that we all face in varying degrees, and how those occurrences can be changed in a moment. Joan Plowright as Mrs. Palfrey was next to perfect in her role of aging recent widow moved to London and living in a residence hotel in order to get on with the next phase of her life in the most pleasing and dignified ways possible for a woman of her certain age. Most interestingly, Mr. Ireland showed well the odd, standoffish and sterile way the English live and dine in residence hotels, as it was shown to be as entertaining as it was quaint, lonely and sad at times. But, things were soon going to change.............
Mrs Palfrey chanced to meet a handsome but very poor busker who helped her after a fall she had on a sidewalk outside of his spartan flat. Thus blossomed one of the finest film friendships between those of vastly differing ages that I have seen since Harold and Maude. The caring and loving way Rupert Friend's struggling young man character took to Mrs. Palfrey, and was returned by her, was perhaps not something we would not see in a thousand years in real life with most young people today, but its unlikeliness was just the right recipe here for giving both the attention, happiness and improved self worth they both desperately needed at that point in their lives. The entire story was about that blossoming friendship and the rewarding gift it gave to each of them.
Gift yourself and see this film story for a quiet and very high quality perception of aging, life circumstances and the deep value of true friendship, all of which battered down all doors of convention and showed well that true and loving human connections will always be made by differing people having the level of desire and need to do so.
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