Monday, January 16, 2006

Ladies in Lavender

I finally finally watched Ladies in Lavender.
And it was all I expected, and more.
My mates will probably start poking fun at me, because this film most likely predicts my future:

Old spinsters find young lad being washed ashore in front of their house in Cornwall, take him in, nurse him back to health, and one of the ladies (Judy Dench) promptly falls for the guy, who - mind you! - could be her grandson.
"That's you alright", I hear them say. "You and your toyboys".

But this is not pervy old horny grannie material. The way Ursula's love for Andrea was portrayed was incredibly sweet and painful at the same time. Dench surely is no spring chicken anymore, but she managed to play it so well you could see the young smitten girl in her. It was incredibly sad to see how much she was enchanted by him, and at the same time how much she was aware that she was more than three times his age, and sorta stuck with her love in an old body and conventions that spoke against that kind of feeling.
And for those of us who just love sweet old English ladies with a little bit of a stiff upper lip and a notoriously hot kettle (that's no euphemism, you, I mean that!), this film is just a treat. One forgets quickly that the same Dench is a fierce androgynous creature in Die Another Day (even though the face looks so familiar...!), and I just loved Maggie Smith ever since "Murder by Death"; she'll never fail to be the classy lady.

Good stuff only can be said about Daniel Brühl, as well. I am usually not a fan of German acting and German movies (or Germans in general, hah!), but Daniel Brühl and his films are the exception to the rule. He was amazing in Goodbye Lenin! already, and I am dead keen on seeing The White Sound. He's got that innocent charm that already made me smitten with Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules , and charm is usually not a trait you would ascribe to the German testosterone brigade.

All in all, "Ladies in Lavender" is a bittersweet treat for those days when one wants something more filling than the average chick's-night-in RomCom.

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