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Ladies in Lavender (2005)

Judi Dench , Maggie Smith , Charles Dance  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Daniel Brühl, Freddie Jones, Gregor Henderson-Begg
  • Directors: Charles Dance
  • Writers: Charles Dance, William J. Locke
  • Producers: Charles Dance, Bill Allan, Bill Shephard, Elizabeth Karlsen, Emma Hayter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BITVAG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,968 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ladies in Lavender" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Ladies in Lavender A "Fairy Tale" Featurette

Editorial Reviews

Starring Academy Award winners Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Ladies in Lavender is a heartwarming film about two sisters who find their lives changed by a young man, Andrea, (Daniel Brühl, The Edukators, Good Bye Lenin!) who has been washed ashore and badly injured. Upon taking him in, his presencequietly invokes Ursula's (Dench) abandoned feelings of longing and Janet's (Smith) maternal instincts, while also arousing suspicion and fear in the township during pre-war times in Europe. But throughout Andrea's stay, the two sisters discover his true origins, his talents as a gifted violinist and embark on a journey they had never imagined for themselves.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a completely A M A Z I N G film ! July 29, 2006
Format:DVD
I've just read the other reviews on this page and am a little annoyed at the lacklustre comments on this little gem of a film that has sat in my DVD collection for the last 18 months until today when I finally got to watch it. It is a completely amazing film. One of the reasons I suppose it took me so long to get around to actually watching it is the in my view really bad cover artwork and a really bad title. However the film itself is so beautifully crafted trust me.

The physical setting is superb, really timeless & beautiful. Judi Dench is TOTALLY tremendous without a shadow of a doubt. Daniel Bruhl is completely perfect! The whole film is amazing.

There's a fair bit of interest for the classical music enthusiast too. The violin music (played by Joshua Bell!) is WONDERFUL.

My one and ONLY criticism in the whole film is that Maggie Smith's character wasn't drawn out a bit more. She is the fine dame of British acting and a real favourite so it was a pity. However I'm reluctant to mention this really as this film really scores 100% for me.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ladies are magnificent - but they always are June 17, 2007
By Galina
Format:DVD
"Ladies in Lavender" (2004) is a film starring two of the best British actresses, Dame Judy Dench and Dame Maggie Smith as two lonely sisters, a widow and an old maid who live quietly and uneventfully in their cottage on the seaside in Cornwall, England. The film takes place in 1936 before the WWII begins. One morning, the sisters discover a young man, almost a boy injured and washed ashore near their home and their lives were changed forever. The sisters take the boy in and care for him. As time passes, they learn that Andrea was on the ship heading to America where he hoped to become a professional musician. Andrea is extremely talented violinist and one day, his playing attracts the attention of a young Russian woman -painter, Olga who lives in the village. Olga's brother is a world renowned violinist and she is ready to offer the boy the chance of his life but the sisters, especially Ursula (Dench) seems very reluctant to let Andrea and Olga communicate. Ursula who never been married feels deep tenderness, warmth, and longing for Andrea that she has difficulty to hide. Her sister who is very close and compassionate to her sees quite well what goes on but she also understands that some dreams would always stay just the beautiful dreams...

The main reason to see the movie is acting and chemistry between two beloved actresses, both in their 70s and both on the top of their profession. As for the story of two lonely elderly sisters in their coastal home, it was told better in Lindsay Anderson's "Whales in August" (1987) that starred Bette Davis and Lillian Gish, and Anderson's film does not have a young foreign boy to make it compelling and moving. The verbal and silent communication between two sisters as played by Gish and Davis makes the earlier movie a quiet and poignant gem.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grande Damage April 15, 2007
Format:DVD
Imagine you are walking through a great art museum, overwhelmed by one massive canvas after another. In your rapture you almost walk right past a tiny painting in the corner, an unassuming, faultless Vermeer. That is this movie. Watch it on its own terms, in its own time, and you will certainly love it.

Ladies In Lavender is a star vehicle for two British Grande Dames, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith - that's hard to beat for star power. (Indeed, the only thing missing in this movie is Helen Mirren.) Almost everything except the plot fuels the story, the plot is so small it would be easily lost in the garden these sisters keep. Place is massively important, and brilliantly recreated. Pace is massively important; these people lead simple, slow lives. Most of all, emotional nuance drives the bus here, Maggie Smith can say more with a furrowed brow than any ten Hollywood actors with a well-polished script.

The film invites adult viewers to take an adult look at the many different forms love takes, and their consequences. From the bitter and cynical aging doctor, to the painfully vulnerable and naive Ursula, Dench, to the cool yet kind Janet, Smith, this film weaves leitmotifs with such a deft hand you barely notice. The young man, Andrea, is played adequately by Daniel Bruhl, while Olga, young, manipulative, and ambitious, is the girl everyone loves to hate because she seems to have it all. Olga is played by Natascha McElhone. Ms. McElhone is fortunate to have been blessed with model-esque good looks; if you look carefully you can see her being out-acted by a footstool, a washstand, and a pair of knitting needles.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Ladies in Lavender" tells the tale of two elderly sisters, Ursula (Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith), who share an ancient cottage in Cornwall, England on the eve of WWII. One morning after a violent storm, they find a young man washed up on the beach, more dead than alive. They take him in and tend to him, quickly discovering that he speaks no English, but he speaks German and says he is Polish. The fact that he speaks German arouses local suspisions, as the villagers wonder if he could be a German spy.

Time passes quickly, and Andrea (Spanish-German Daniel Bruhl, better known for 2003's Good Bye, Lenin!) quickly proves his talent with the violin. Matters are complicated when both of the sisters fall for Andrea. The tender, naive Ursula seems to have never had a beau, and despite the great age difference between her and Andrea, clearly is pondering a sexual relationship with him. Janet tries to rein her in, to no effect.

A mysterious, beautiful stranger named Olga is also a newcomer to the village. Although she, too, speaks German (and French), she is Russian, sister of the famous violin virtuoso Boris Danilof. This important information is withheld from Andrea, as the sisters strive to keep him for themselves, but Andrea is miserable at having his career as a concert violinist kept at arm's length. He begins to spend more and more time with Olga, to the distaste of Ursula and Janet, and in a fateful conversation, he is told of Olga's identity and of her famous brother, who wants to meet Andrea. His conscience torments him at having to make the choice between leaving the kind-hearted sisters and seizing his rightful place in the concert halls of the world.

Ursula's childish love affair with Andrea is heartbreaking.
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DVD Ladies in Lavender
Geez! Why would you want it in full screen!? Go widescreen and LEARN to appreciate it in its full glory!
Jan 13, 2007 by Peter G. Keller |  See all 2 posts
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