Good Movies: Ladies in Lavender

I found “Ladies in Lavender” a charming and fascinating story. Imagine two older women, sisters, living in a small remote 1930’s Cornish village in a lovely house overlooking the sea.  One night comes a violent storm, not all that unusual for such a setting.  But next morning the sisters discover a washed up body on their little beach.  Next they discover that the young man is still alive.  They get help, take him in, and begin to tend to him.

ladies-in-lavender1Only he doesn’t speak their language.  So as he slowly heals they slowly begin to learn communication with each other.  Villagers get involved eventually.  It turns out the young man is handsome and likable, but also a talented musician.  Eventually his talent is recognized and doors are opened to leave this shelter and perform in the world beyond.  But here the sisters are conflicted, because just as a prisoner often bonds with his captors, they have bonded with their young guest and would keep him as their possession, which they seem to have earned because they saved his life and provided the opportunity for his talent to emerge.

The sisters are played by Judy Dench and Maggie Smith.  Their interactions through the various stages of the story are amusing, conflicted, stormy, sad, and sometimes wise and other times foolish.  This is also a movie about the life of small towns and town folk and their dealings with this unusual situation.  The ending is a profound affirmation of the best that is possible when people are able to work through their cultural and situational prejudices and embrace the gifts among them.

View scene from the film:


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