It was called Ladies In Lavender and it was a story that I don't think I will ever be able to forget. My heart still aches for its prominent character, Ursula. I watched this movie recently and was moved to tears by many of the heart wrenching moments of the film. It stars two absolute legends of English film, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench who happens to be my favorite female actress of all time.
The story takes place in Cornwall England in the pre-war era of the English sea coast. I will not go into all of the details of the film but I will give a brief overview so consider this your spoiler alert! if you wish not to hear the details.
Janet (Maggie Smith) and Ursula (Judi Dench) are two aged sisters living on the sea coast of picturesque Cornwall, England. Janet's husband was killed in the first war many years before and Ursula was never able to marry for one reason or another. One morning after a fierce storm a young man washes up on the shore after falling overboard his ship sailing to America. The sisters take him in and nurse him back to health where they learn that he is Polish and speaks almost no English.
This was the part of the film that just had me blubbering in tears. It took me a while to catch on but I began to realize what was happening. Ursula who was never married and has now grown old begins to awaken to feelings of love and romance that she has never experienced before, for this young man. You can imagine how carefully and sensitively this had to be portrayed in the film so as not to give an unsavory impression. It was beautifully presented and my heart just ached for poor Ursula who had begun to experience love for the first time in her life although it would never come to be as it only exists in her mind and heart. The young man has no idea of her developing feelings but Janet soon catches on and tries to reason with her very emotional sister to no avail.
Not only is the film a moving portrayal of unrequited love and raw human emotion but it is also a cinematographic pleasure to watch. Every scene is filled with coastal beauty as well as the indoor scenes that are filled with beautiful antiques, vintage millinery, teapots, china and cottage adornments. I ended up watching the film a second time just to savor the clothing and accoutrement's of the era that are very visible in the film.
The film is also filled with beautiful and emotion stirring scores and violin pieces which will bring you to tears from the shear beauty of them all by themselves! In the film Andrea (the young man) is an amazing violinist and this ties in wonderfully with the overall feeling of the movie.
So there you have it, ladies! The next time you are in the video store and need a good chick flick to help you get out those bottled up tears, be sure to look for this wonderful piece of movie mastery called Ladies In Lavender.