Enchanted April 1991

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(170) IMDb 7.4/10
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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.

Starring:
Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence
Director Mike Newell
Genres Drama
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO
Rental release 23 February 2009
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 176 people found the following review helpful By R Young TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Sep 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Ignore the Time Out and Film Buff reviews, which consign this film to the dustbin of the bland. In fact this film is a consumate allegory on Spiritual Enlightenment.

Appearing almost innocent of its own intentions, the film follows the naive ambitions of a misunderstood and unhappily married young woman to take a villa in Italy with "like minded" companions. This is a singles holiday wound back one hundred years.

But what unfolds is a subtle and exquisitely elegant story of diversely thinking people resolved to their mutual antipathies and psychological flaws.

A simple tale which is all the more intelligent for its restrained and understated poise.

This film is (will be) one of the jewels of 20th Century Cinema. The direction is taut yet breathes, the location is stunning. The script is clever, the cast outstanding.

This is a must have film, and is a welcome antidote to so many other films which gain their kudos through sensation, violence, and essentially empty attempts to impress.

Enchanted April should be compulsory viewing for all those seeking "conflict resolution". It is a better healer than a thousand therapy sessions.
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153 of 157 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 May 2005
Format: VHS Tape
No praise can be too high for this wonderful production; you would have to be a dead stick yourself not to be carried along by it.
Location, not Tuscany but Liguria (Portofino); writing; musical score and impecable acting. Amanda Richardson and Joan Plowright are incapable of putting a foot wrong, but they are by no means left to carry the day alone, and it is impossible to list the various actors in order of merit. At first sight, Polly Walker might seem the weak link in the chain, but she is perfectly cast as the languid, and worldworn aristo, turning in a sterling performance.
The Italian cast are also worthy of mention, and we are left (as is proper) to get the drift of their Italian, or not, and there is plenty of it! The boiler scene is a classic (btw - pericoloso means dangerous).
Classic quote (Mrs. Fisher): "[in my day]..husbands were taken seriously, as the only real impediment to sin."
This film is a MUST HAVE, but don't buy it on video - wait until it is available on DVD. My ropey copy was taped from the TV and requires replacing. It is a disgrace that this, and many another fine production, has not yet been issued on DVD. We all have VCR's, but who wants to buy videos any more?? The BBC seem particularly guilty in this respect.
Amazon please note: can't you log customer DVD searches and exert pressure so that they are released in the UK? The American market is much better served in this respect.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Miss on 27 Dec 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From its downbeat beginning to its joyous ending, this film is one long treat to watch. It takes you through the emotional journey of four women, who barely know each other, as they take a holiday in Italy.

In the best traditions of a production reminiscent of Merchant Ivory, the locations and photography are stunning, but the pleasure does not stop there. All four of the performances of the female leads are impeccable, as are those of the male figures in their lives. Josie Lawrence is a delight as the incurable optimist whose emerging love for life gradually infects all the others.

For this is not just a film about a holiday. It is about how the low self-esteem of each of the characters is transformed during their stay in Italy, and groundwork for continuing happiness is laid. This is not a film where you walk away thinking that all the fun is over for them. Things have changed for good.

I have been waiting for so long for this film to be released on DVD, constantly checking to see if it was there. I can't say just how thrilled I am that I will finally be able to own it.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By S. Spedding on 20 Oct 2006
Format: VHS Tape
From grey rainy England, a mad impulse sends four very different women to the sparkling light and sensual flower filled bliss of the sunny Italian coast, where magic begins to work on their souls. Watching this, it will seep into yours as well. You will long for such an experience. This production is therapy for dark nights and a lack of joy, and love.

It contains, for me, one of the most beautiful visual moments I have ever seen on television. The rainstorm has passed, it is morning, and an unexpected light glimmers through the shutters of the quiet bedroom. They are opened and ... heaven!

I join with those who are waiting and hoping for a DVD to be produced. We should start bombarding the BBC with emails!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Aug 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Enchanted April is a celebration of life amidst its troubles. One can learn to find humor and hope in all of life's tribulations. This is a movie which one needs to watch several times especially at down times when hope is waning. The scenery is pleasant. The acting is un-noticed, that is, the actors become the characters and you forget that you are observing a drama. You can live this story with the characters.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jan 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Having loved this film when it was first shown on TV, I have owned the video since the day it was issued and continue to watch it over and over again. It brings continuing delight on every viewing - it lifts low spirits, gives hope on a dreary English winter day and binds a group of my own friends together. If one of us needs cheering up then the phrase "Think of San Salvatore" does the trick! So why oh why is it STILL not available on DVD???
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