What You Need To Know:
Emotions run deep in this movie, although they are portrayed very subtly. Maggie Smith, who plays Janet, and Judi Dench, who plays Ursula, are wonderful and compelling. David Warner also does a great job as the doctor. The greatest talent is Daniel Bruhl, who plays Andrea. Except for a few angry words, this is a very clean, moral movie. Surprisingly, it has gotten rave reviews from all quarters. LADIES IN LAVENDER is one of those movies where you walk out feeling better about life and art.
(BB, C, L, V, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview, with a subtle Christian virtues and an interesting reflection on art and sacrifice; one “Oh God” and three light obscenities; man almost drowns and man threatened; no sex but older woman attracted to younger man; no nudity; drinking; smoking; and, woman withholds information.
LADIES IN LAVENDER is a gem. It has one of the best musical concerts ever in a movie. It is also a mythic tale, although set in a very small, intimate framework.
Two elderly women, Ursula and Janet, live alone in a house by the sea in Cornwall. One day they find an almost drowned young man, Andrea, washed up on shore. They immediately start to nurse him back to health.
Through trial and error, they find out that Andrea is Polish. As the story develops, they also find out he is a talented violinist. Their artist neighbor for the summer, Olga Danilof, is the sister of one of the greatest violinists. She recognizes Andrea’s talent.
Andrea’s talent is extraordinary. He almost appears to be a gift from the gods, washed up on the beach, although there is no overt reference to such a myth.
Emotions run deep in this movie, although they are portrayed very subtly. The older doctor is attracted to Olga, and Ursula feels that she has missed out on love. The sisters and everyone else have to learn to do the right thing, and the town has to deal with a foreigner in their midst on the eve of World War II.
Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, who play Janet and Ursula, respectively, are wonderful and compelling. David Warner also does a great job as the doctor. The greatest talent, however, is Daniel Bruhl, who plays Andrea.
It should be noted that the direction and the editing are very classical and old-fashioned, which is appropriate for a movie set in this time period. The style is reminiscent of one of Hitchcock’s films from his British filmmaking days. It makes you want to move to Cornwall.
The mythic elements of a virgin birth and full-blown artistic talent are presented with care and subtlety. Except for a few angry words, this is a very clean movie. Surprisingly, it has gotten rave reviews from all quarters. It was one of those movies where you walk out feeling better about life and art.