Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years before. Ashby finds he enjoys their company, particularly that of Elinor, and both the women are drawn to him. Back at Oxford he is nevertheless taken aback when they arrive unannounced. Women are not allowed in the College grounds, let alone the rooms. Indeed any liaison, however innocent, is frowned on by the upstanding Fellows.
Slow moving but sweet film about an Oxford don (played by Michael Palin) who is the logical successor to the presidency of his college, when his preoccupation with two American women he meets while on a Swiss holiday becomes an issue. When the President dies his opponent in the subsequent election is the always wonderful Alfred Molina who is also the college womanizer. Connie Booth and Trini Alvarado deliver exquisitely subtle performances. Michael Palin, who also co-wrote the screenplay based on his grandfather's memoirs (a fellow at Oxford in the 1860's), was also surprisingly good.
A humorously played real-life story. Superb acting, filming, editing, and the music gives the final perfect touch. I had the film on VHS and am so, so happy that it is finally on DVD. A film to watch at any time you want to feel happy, and confident that life can be very beautiful. Could be compared to Enchanted April.
Finally I can dispense with my worn-out VHS of this marvellous Michael Palin film, based loosely on the memoirs of a relative. Wonderful performances from Palin, Connie Booth and a splendidly slimy Alfred Molina as well as a perfect portrayal of the young ingenue by Trini Alvarado. It captures the strong sense of Victorian repression and deals with sympathy and great humour the intrusion of two beautiful ladies from the USA. I rarely believe in the 'undiscovered masterpiece' epithet but this charming, moving and funny film is just that. Pre-ordered and with huge anticipation!