Saturday, May 14, 2005

FILM: Ladies in Lavender

Ladies in Lavender was an exquisite movie, portraying how the lives of two old sisters in a Cornish fishing village are touched when a mysterious young man washes ashore in their cove. A fleeting extraordinary experience can make a profoundly beautiful impression on a life. Though we know such experiences are inevitably transient, we also inevitably want to hold on to them and make them last. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith masterfully enact the sisters, two characters with complex emotional lives hidden beneath their English surface, subtly revealed more through expressions and tone than what is actually spoken. Daniel Bruehl is credibly adorable as the mysterious young foreigner. The film is beautifully crafted by writer/director Charles Dance, with the study in character touchingly sketched, and with the townsfolk and scenery of Cornwall making a charming backdrop. And of course the music, featuring Joshua Bell's violin, with a touch of Cornish country pub music, is marvelous. The film, like the experience it portrays, is touching and beautiful.

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