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Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004)

Judi Dench , Maggie Smith , Charles Dance    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) + Quartet [DVD] + The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [DVD] [2011]
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Product details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Daniel Brühl, Natascha McElhone, Miriam Margolyes
  • Directors: Charles Dance
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Feb 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00075142Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 830 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Ladies in Lavender is exactly the sort of film that prompts people to question, "Why don’t they make films like this anymore?" It’s a delicately-paced story of two aging sisters--Ursula (Dame Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith--who live together on a Cornwall beach in 1936. They discover a foreign stranger washed ashore (Daniel Bruhl), and while nursing him back to health make an astonishing discovery: the young man, a Pole, is a phenomenally gifted violinist. And Ursula finds her feelings for the man go far deeper than merely maternal.

Writer and director Charles Dance has crafted an admirable debut. Ladies in Lavender a tenderly done and bittersweet story of innocence and regret. Though the dialogue sometimes seems too earnest, and he has an over-reliance on slow motion cinematography, he still allows his two talented leads enough time and space to shine. It’s only unfortunate that more effort did not go into the DVD release of the film: the extras only consist of soundbites from the cast and crew, which add little insight. --Ted Kord

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
By Peter
Ladies In Lavender looked excellent from the offset - directed by Charles Dance and starring two of the world's best actresses - I always knew it would be of high calibre, but was astounded as to how deeply compelling and touching it really was.
Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are utterly fantastic in their respective roles as Ursula and Janet (two close, yet different, sisters living on the Cornish coast at the threshold of world war 2).
I have NEVER cared for characters in a film more than I have these two women, and the tale they become involved in is overwhelming.
This is a film of gentle beauty with deeply emotional undercurrents. I am a 24 year old man, and by the time the credits were rolling I was - literally - sobbing.
This film is a (beautiful) masterpiece. It is a cultural crime to miss it!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies in Lavender 29 April 2005
A little gem of a movie, beautifully set and sensitively filmed and edited, with the tremendous combination of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith working at the 100% level. The evocation of a rural Cornwall in the immediate pre-war period is absolutely spot-on, and the sound-track music is excellent.
110 minutes of sheer enjoyment.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, gentle tale 28 Feb 2005
By A Customer
I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer who considered this worth only one star (and yes, I did see Breath of Life). This film is a gentle, undemanding but nevertheless very moving 'fairy story'. The basic premise, that of the rescue of a Polish violinist by two lonely elderly sisters, is beautifully played out by the two marvellous leads. Add to that Miriam Margolyes being unwittingly compared to a potato, and you have a real winner. This is lovely, arty farty drama, and I highly recommend it!
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies In Lavender 25 Mar 2005
According to a well-known song, "..there is nothing like a dame.." and Ladies In Lavender proves this twice over. Maggie Smith and Judi Dench as two elderly sisters Janet and Ursula, give the outstanding performances we have come to expect from them The directing debut of Charles Dance has been a resounding success - one would think he'd been doing it all his life. Daniel Bruhl, who has the role of Andrea -the young Polish violinist washed up on a Cornish beach and into the lives of the two sisters, is a formidable talent. Miriam Margoyles as Dorcas is, as always, a joy to watch. There's an excellent performance from Natasha McElhone as Olga who is instrumental in helping Andrea become a professional violinist. Add to this the talents of Freddie Jones and David Warner, to name but two of the supporting actors, and you know you are in for a real treat. Indeed, one could be forgiven for suggesting that Charles Dance was Divinely Inspired when he cast this film - everyone and everything works together beautifully. The soul-tingling playing of violinist Joshua Bell is an experience that transcends ecstasy. Ladies In Lavender is set to become a classic film - BUY IT.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 29 Mar 2005
To start with, I'm a 15 year old boy that before this film, would have thought he would have rather watched I Robot or Hostage. I watched this film expecting absolute rubbish after reviews on this site. I bought it for my Mum and Grandma (2 Seperate copies!) Because they both love Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judie Dench. I sat down and the story moved fast, so entertaining and the on screen relationship between the two lead dames was amazing! So funny and entertaining. The story consists of:
~Find a young man on a beach washed up
~Take him home, look after him and his broken ankle
~He speaks no english
~He lives with them and gradually learns english
To find out the rest you will have to watch but I found the film charming and entertaining, made me laugh lots "Ursula Do stop it, you look like a cannibal!" and also left a warm part in my cold heart. I never thought I would enjoy a film like this, merely because I have never tried one. It is superb and ever so entertaining. Maybe not one you can watch lots of times, but a few times and its still a gem. The shout out has to go to Smith and Dench for outstanding performances (no suprise there) and to the newcoming actor who plays the man washed up on the beach. Great chemistry and kept me thoroughly entertained.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of love story 14 April 2006
It is 1936 in the village of Cornwall, and elderly sisters Ursula (Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith) are living a well-ordered and dull life. A violent storm washes a young man (Daniel Bruhl) ashore; the sisters take him in and nurse him back to health. Ursula, the more emotional of the two, is drawn to him immediately and soon has romantic fantasies about him. Janet, the older, no-nonsense sister, is initially less involved, but slowly she, too, comes to see the young man as "hers." His talent for the violin is noticed by their lovely neighbor (Natascha McElhone), but the sisters are jealous of her interest and want to keep him in their life.

This little movie is quite fragile and touching. There's not a lot of action here, but the two stars make it a most satisfying experience. The focus is entirely on their emotional reaction to the presence of the young man, and both Dench and Smith are masters in the arts of facial expression and speech. Miriam Margolys plays a crusty housekeeper for a bit of comic relief, and the always reliable David Warner is a lovelorn village doctor. The various plot threads are left unresolved, much like real life, and one is left with a glimpse into two lives that is heartfelt and real. Dench and Smith are unforgettable; I heartily recommend "Ladies in Lavender" to their fans.
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