Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ladies in Lavender

(UK, 2004)

Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are elderly sisters living in a scenic cottage on the Cornish coast in 1936. A young Polish man, Andrea, washes up on the shore and they save his life and nurse him back to health. But Judi, a spinster and virgin, becomes fixated on him in an unhealthy way. They discover that he is a violin prodigy, and he is soon attracted to the lovely neighbor, Natascha McElhone, who just happens to be the sister of Andrea’s idol, the great Boris Daniloff. You know he can’t stay with them forever, and he soon runs off to London with her to seek his career. The sisters bear up well, going to London to see his debut. He is a decent man, knows he owes them a lot, but what Judi wants he can’t give her. They return home, reconciled. This is a wistful movie, an old-fashioned movie, I guess. There is not a whiff of wild action. The chief pleasures are watching the two act, and seeing the recreation of small village life.