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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 July 2017
Based on a novel by Irish writer Maeve Binchy, this little film is set over the Christmas period in a rather upmarket residential home for senior citizens. However, it is not a film exclusively for the festive season. It tells the story of Ellie (Hayley Atwell), who has just broken up with her boyfriend and lands in the above mentioned establishment, which is owned and run by her older sister, expecting to be given a place to stay. What she hasn't bargained for is that she'll have to work for her keep, and when her sister is called away because of a family emergency, it falls to Ellie to single-handedly run the home.

The residents are all rather unpleasant and demanding, and while the acting by such greats as Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Fricker and Imelda Staunton is very good, it takes a bit of time to warm to their characters. The ageing actress played by Redgrave is the easiest to like, the full story of the two sisters played by Fricker and Staunton emerges rather too slowly and by the time it does, many a viewer may well have lost interest in them because of their rude behaviour. Which is a pity, because when all is explained, everything makes sense.

Hayley Atwell is very likable as Ellie, Redgrave is good as ever and when she gets her moment to shine, she does so with all the glamour of a real star. In that flamboyant red coat of hers she does cut a very fine figure indeed. There are various subplots, all mildly entertaining, but basically this is the story of Ellie taking responsibility for the first time in her life, and of a lot of lonely people discovering the importance of company and community.

No, it's not the greatest film ever made, but if you don't expect any more than a bit of light entertainment without violence you should enjoy this well enough. One drawback: The DVD has no subtitles, which a film about senior citizens and aimed at a mature to elderly audience really should have.
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on 30 January 2016
This is a sweet and charming film set during the Christmas period in an eccentric care home.

Ellie Harris is a young women at a loose end, subsequently she decides to visit her sister's care home where she finds the residents are very much set in their own ways and a little segregated by that. She also has a little romance and gets closer to the elderly people living there. She experiences heartbreak and questions her own trajectory through life as her view of the people living around her softens so when her sister is called away on Christmas Eve to visit their mother, Ellie decides to take over and manage the Christmas dinner.

This film very much relies on the fabulous performances of Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Fricker, Joss Ackland and Imogen Stubbs and they deliver plentiful. As a result there is a lot poignancy to the storyline, but overall it looks lovely and there is an upbeat attitude, ultimately that is what I took away from this.

Overall despite the subject matter being about being old and in the care home system, because of the first class acting and positivity from the actors this film, it left me with a smile on my face and I would recommend to anyone wanting something light to fill their evening viewing.
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on 18 September 2015
what a wonderful movie - it tells the story of GETTING OLD .. the individuals who deal with their past, their regrets, their losses and hopes!

IT IS A FEEL GOOD MOVIE , which makes you appreciate life, friends and people who care for each other - it is not a movie which is on the shallow end...it has depth and it has charm ....
it has sad moments but it uplifts everybody who is aware that people of age also had have a life which was fulfilled, which left them with dreams, hope and who need to be re-kindled .....

YES - this is a WONDERFUL MOVIE ...worth watching, worth owning and worth to re-view again!

WELL DONE!
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on 12 December 2015
It's an ok film, heartwarming. Better than most Christmas films but I found it a little jarring in places, trying to play on the heart strings but the thing that annoyed me most was the background. With "snow" falling as leaves were on the trees... Supposedly a cold winter day as the trees were shades of gold and red. Poor continuity. If you can't afford to make the seasons look appropriate, chose your scenes more carefully. Ultimately it failed to nudge my emotions as much as it should which was it's biggest failing. Not bad but not great either.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2017
A nice film, which is a bit different from many of the sickly sweet Christmas films. We all enjoyed this film and it is in the keep pile for next December. Recommended.
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on 17 March 2015
Great cast of actors, so this DVD was enjoyable to watch. You might feel a little confused, with the story line, as I felt I had opened the door to a care facility and walked into the day to day happenings and was not sure of what and whom I was seeing. It would have been better has the script writer taken a bit of poetic licence and given us a deeper look into the characters past lives, to better explain why each person was the way they were, as of now.
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on 9 December 2014
Set in an old peoples home this is a good christmas film primarily about people and their relationships. I enjoyed this sentimental film, it was nice to see how even the difficult can pull together under the right circumstances.

As another reviewer commented it really is quite charming and also a nice change from Santa movies.

Recommended viewing.
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on 28 November 2016
This for us has become a Christmas regular. If there were 10 Stars I would put it in. Wonderful, funny, sad, Christmassy just WONDERFUL with the most fabulous actors. For me it's as big as White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and Scrooge (A Christmas Carol).
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on 7 January 2016
Wonderful, moving, feel-good film. Beautiful setting, well acted and some funny moments. Well worth watching once or twice and some quite moving scenes on aging and loss. A really lovely Christmassy film with the uplifting tune of 'How about you' sprinkled through it and the beautiful, haunting piano strokes of Erik Satie's Gnossienne #4.
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on 29 September 2015
A very charming story about a care home for the elderly and impaired. Very enjoyable, emotional at times but most of the time it made you smile. I would recommend anyone to watch it and not feel it was worth it.
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