Guest Author - Karen L Hardison
With two Academy Award winning actresses at the helm, Ladies in Lavender is a delight to watch and rewatch. Two spinster sister live together in a seashore cottage in England which is on the brink of world war. Their garden as seaside walks are interrupted by the body of a handsome young Polish man who, while on a sea voyage, is washed overboard. He survives and the ladies find him unconscious but still alive. They nurse him back to health discovering that he has a broken ankle and then he surprises them.
While sister Janet (Maggie Smith) dusts off her old German textbook, the young man is fluent in German, and sister Ursula (Judi Dench) teaches him English by putting labels all over the bedroom furniture, he one day uses a borrowed violin to give them a magnificent sample of his talents, revealing his true identity as a master violinist. The sound of his music draws the attention of a stranger who is renting a nearby cottage for the summer. Janet thinks she's like a wicked witch. This sentiment may be for no other reason than that she is young, intelligent, impressive and beautiful and adds a third person to the growing list of women who are infatuated with Andrea Marowski (Daniel Brühl). The first two infatuees are, of course, Janet and Ursula. As Andrea's health and ankle mend and as his circumstances are rearranged and plans for reconnecting with his future are laid, mysteries are solved, hearts are tugged and he plays his violin for all of us putting all of us on the infatuee list!
With a cast that is headed by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith there is question but what the acting is sterling. And director Charles Dance made sure the entire harmonized as superbly as a Brahms violin concerto. Dance's crew of production designer (Caroline Amies) and cinematographer (Peter Biziou) add the harmonic chords of interior and exterior beauty captured perfectly, thereby enhancing the melodic strains of the concerto.
Ladies in Lavender is a visually exquisite experience, such charm and beauty can be captured in the countryside of England. Renowned violinist Joshua Bell plays the violin solos and Marcia Crayford leads the The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ladies in Lavender is rated PG-13 for strong language but makes a splendid viewing experience for a family with older children. This film is definitely adding to DVD purchasing list, but if your list is curtailed like the economy, it is perfect for an evening Redbox Rental.
Charles Dance -- Director
William J Locke -- Short story author
Charles Dance -- Screenplay writer
Judi Dench -- Ursula
Maggie Smith -- Janet
Andrea Marowski -- Daniel Brühl
Natascha McElhone -- Olga