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Enchanted April [DVD]
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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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
When an ad is placed in the paper offering a vacation of wisteria and sunshine at a castle by the sea in Italy, two Englishwomen, Lottie (Josie Lawrence) and Rose (Miranda Richardson), who are friends from church, leave their mates behind to join two other women for an April to remember. Joan Plowright is delightful as the elderly Mrs. Fisher, who begins to live again under the spell of wisteria and sunshine. But it is beautiful Polly Walker’s portrayel of Caroline Hester, with her magic eyes and Louise Brooks look, that nearly steals the show.
The internal musings of Lottie and Rose prompt both women to do the unthinkable and send for their husbands, bringing humorous and unexpected events to this April on the Riviera. Each will begin to find inner happiness and a rebirth of love. Even Few films have the depth to sooth the soul and leave you feeling good about life like this magical film. Take your own enchanted holiday by picking this up as soon as you can.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a warm hearted and enchanting film which I thoroughly enjoyed. All the players were superb and the location made it extra special.Published 19 days ago by Fizzy Fozzy
Based on a book by Elizabeth Von Arnim ( although I've not read the book so I can't comment on how closely it follows the original story ) an enchanting film made in 1991 and set... Read morePublished 20 days ago by David H J Ashdown
Delightful feel-good tale. DVD has a 1970s feel to the colours which is strange given it is a 1990s production - perhaps it was recorded in low-definition?Published 1 month ago by isvana
Lovely gentle film. Book much better, more atmosphere and detailed characters.Published 2 months ago by Catherine Woods
Arrived on time which was important ass it was a gift. Great story - worth getting the book as well.Published 2 months ago by Tel Stanton
One of my favourite films and would recommend it to anyone.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer