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243 Reviews
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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equisitely Superior Film - A Cultural Masterpiece
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,...
Published on 22 Mar 2005 by Peter

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine acting indeed but...
The story takes second place to the atmosphere. The attitude of the old ladies is beautifully done as one would expect, and is a fine exploration of the adult 'letting go' usually of children but here more complex. But, whilst all drama may be fantasy this one is particularly fantastical - who is the stranger? Why is he on the beach? How did he get to be a brilliant...
Published on 24 July 2007 by W. J. Stewart


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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equisitely Superior Film - A Cultural Masterpiece, 22 Mar 2005
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies in Lavender, 29 April 2005
By 
T. A. Hipkin "The last of the silent majority" (Callander, Perthshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ladies in Lavender, 27 July 2005
By 
L. M. Wilson "korcula blue" (Redcar, Cleveland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
This is a very good film, which I found absorbing.It may not suit everybody,as the subject matter does not really fit into any of the genres popular in modern movies.
It is the story of two elderly single ladies, living alone in a large house on the edge of the beautiful coastline of Cornwall. One morning an event occurs which turns their very ordinary lives upside down. A young man is washed up onto the shore next to their home, more dead than alive.The ladies bring him into their home, and nurse him back to health.
The young man,s background is a mystery, as he can speak no English, and tells them he is Polish. As the ladies try to teach him some English, gradually more is revealed.
This is a seemingly gentle film, as he is gradually adopted into the local community, and the two ladies become increasingly attached to him.
The film deals sensitively with the shifting relationships between the main characters, and the emotions aroused within the two ladies. The character played by Judy Dench is drawn romantically to the young man, and she struggles inwardly with the dawning sel-realisation of what is happening to her. The other old lady played by Maggie Smith, is horrified when she becomes aware of what is taking place within her sister, and her disapproval is in constant conflict with her love for her sister, and her own affection for the young man.
Any body who thinks that when people become old, they no longer have the intense feelings usually attributed to youth, should see this film.There is joy, but also pain, love, but also jealousy.
As the threads gradually weave together and the plot evolves, all the main characters are seen to grow and the story ends as it began, with the two ladies once again alone, wandering along the beach. It has been an interlude in their lives, however, it has changed them forever.
This film goes below the outward surface of everyday life, to reveal how deeply the human heart can feel in the realm of relationships. It is not for any one who is looking for thrills and excitement, but its intuitive portrayal of the complex emotions aroused, by the coming of this young man, touched me deeply, and I think it will do the same for others.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, gentle tale, 28 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 29 Mar 2005
By 
B. Haigh "theboynextdoor" (Reading, U.K) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies In Lavender, 25 Mar 2005
By 
E E Pitt (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of love story, 14 April 2006
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies in Lavender, 4 July 2005
By 
Geoffrey Curd "geoffreycurd2" (Walton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
What a change from the norm to have such a film. It is kind, gentle and full of the better side of human nature. There was no coarse language or violence. It is the sort of film that you can watch more than once as opposed to most of today's efforts where once is more than enough!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST SEE, 19 July 2007
This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
A truly beautiful film, that is an absolute must see. The real life best friends of Dame Maggie and Dame Judi, are perfect together as their performances are faultless. The story is simple, yet it has the viewer totally enthralled throughout. Very touching, moving, yet immensely sad too.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For hopeless Romantics only, 4 Feb 2007
By 
R. LANGRISH (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) (DVD)
I saw this film at the Cinema and it moved me. Perhaps it just come along at a poignant time in my life - or perhaps it was just the vulnerability and believability of their performances. But I defy any romantic not to be affected by this work. I was so much, that I vowed never to see it again. At the right moment it's not a film you watch - it's a film you live. It would be like revisiting an old lover's haunt - nothing but disappointment can come from it. However I was wrong. An Amazon voucher, a wandering mouse and the deed was done. Did I regret trying to recapture that moment. Not a bit of it. Some stories don't need the scale the big screen. In fact a small screen and a crackling winter fireside only adds to the intimacy and romance. If you enjoy quality acting and a touching storyline, well told - pull up a chair for the Ladies in Lavender. Ahhh, bless... sniff.
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Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004)
Ladies in Lavender [DVD] (2004) by Charles Dance (DVD - 2005)
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