Top positive review
Delightful and Heartwarming
31 July 2017
Utterly delightful film based on the true story of a local fund raising campaign exceeding all expections and becoming an international sensation in a time before social media. The setting is an idyllic small town in rural Yorkshire, the protagonists are a group of generally bored middle aged women whose social lives center around the local Women's Institute. When one of them (Annie, played by Juie Walters) loses her husband to cancer, they set out to raise funds in order to buy a decent sofa for the relations room at the local hospital. Kooky Chris (Helen Mirren) comes up with the idea to pose for a nude calendar...
The characters are all beautifully developed and well cast, every one of the women feels real with her own life and problems. Julie Walters and Helen Mirren deliver particularly memorable performances. Walters plays the grieving widow Annie with great dignity while Mirren is great fun to watch as the irresponsible and quirky Chris. But all the 'calendar girls' are delightful in their own way and each actress gets her moment to shine. Also nicely drawn and well cast are the men in their lives. John Alderton as Annie's dying husband makes the viewer care and understand why all this matters. Ciarán Hinds is great as Chris' husband about whom there's a lot more to like than initially meets the eye.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable film, and while it probably qualifies as a chick flick, this is one a lot of men may find fun to watch with the women in their lives.