Ladies in Lavender
Autumn 2005 Main series
Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 7:00pm
Monday, September 19, 2005 at 7:00pm
Monday, September 19, 2005 at 9:30pm
Rated PG ·
English, German, and Polish
In an impressive directorial debut, writer and actor Charles Dance (Swimming Pool, Gosford Park) brings to the screen William J. Locke’s short story about the effects of a young Polish man’s arrival at a seaside English village in the thirties.
After his attempt to reach America is thwarted, Andrea (Daniel Brühl, Good Bye Lenin!) ends up in Cornwall, where he is taken in by two elderly sisters: Ursula (Judi Dench, The Shipping News, Iris, Shakespeare in Love) and Janet (Maggie Smith, Gosford Park). At first, Andrea’s presence arouses curiosity among the villagers, who are unable to find a plausible explanation for his arrival. Their concerns begin to mount, however, when they learn he is Polish and has befriended a visiting Russian woman (Natascha McElhone, The Truman Show).
Dance’s acting background is keenly felt in the film’s lush textures; he allows the characters to genuinely develop, artfully capturing the tension that arises between the sisters due to Andrea’s presence. Smith’s flawless portrayal of the elder, more practical sister is beautifully complemented by Dench’s performance as a spinster who finds herself in unfamiliar territory, experiencing illogical yet powerful emotions for the much younger Andrea.
Tastefully and expertly crafted, Ladies in Lavender provides a poignant and touching look at thirties coastal Britain – the ideal backdrop for an examination of pre-war opinions and xenophobic suspicions. The acting is top-notch across the board, with Miriam Margolyes (Being Julia) standing out amid the strong supporting cast.