In the London of 1922, downtrodden housewife Lottie Wilkins (Josie Lawrence) feels the sudden need to get away from things, and invites her neighbour Rose (Miranda Richardson) - to whom she has never even spoken before - to share a holiday in an Italian villa. In order to save their finances, they share their holiday home with haughty dowager Mrs Fisher (Joan Plowright) and beautiful socialite Lady Caroline Dester (Polly Walker). Upon arrival the foursome clash almost instantly, but gradually learn to live with one another as their respective personalities are transformed by the surroundings.
This lovely, 1991 adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim's novel has a superb cast and a tone so mellow you can feel your pulse get slower. Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson play a pair of unhappily married women who rent an Italian villa for a month, sharing the cost with a crusty Englishwoman (Joan Plowright) and a lonely aristocrat (Polly Walker). Sun, rest, sinking into the green grass for long naps--they all have a soulful effect on the quartet, and then on the men in their lives who make a surprise visit. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral
) directs with seeming effortlessness, and it is impossible not to be swayed by the promise of restoration for these burdened characters--or for anyone alive. Wonderful performances all around, including a particularly sensitive one by Alfred Molina and a very funny one by Jim Broadbent. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.