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166 Reviews
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146 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure!
After the film came to an end (I'd rented it on DVD), a friend who had enjoyed it with us said, "Where did you hear about this movie?" And I wasn't quite sure where I'd first seen mention of the film until, in watching an extra on the DVD, Joan Plowright's acceptance speech as winner of a best actress award from AARP, I realized it had been in a recent AARP magazine I'd...
Published on February 11, 2007 by Richard B. Green

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars cutish but tame movie
this film started off like it would be good but quickly started to drag. the cast is good, but maybe its too subtle for my tastes, even though I am a joan plowright fan. it is very slowly paced and some aspects (getting to know the boy after such a casual meeting, etc.) were unbelievable at least. could have been meant be, but I had trouble getting into it and took a...
Published 6 months ago by r hames


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146 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure!, February 11, 2007
After the film came to an end (I'd rented it on DVD), a friend who had enjoyed it with us said, "Where did you hear about this movie?" And I wasn't quite sure where I'd first seen mention of the film until, in watching an extra on the DVD, Joan Plowright's acceptance speech as winner of a best actress award from AARP, I realized it had been in a recent AARP magazine I'd received. If we lived in a just world, then Joan Plowright's performance as Mrs. Palfrey would have received an Academy Award nomination last year. When one considers what passes for entertainment nowadays, this film can stand head and shoulders above so many. No sense giving you a rundown on the story itself; suffice it to say that, if you've any curiosity as to what ageing will be like, if you've any curiosity as to how those moving into their later senior years deal with the good and bad of growing older, this movie will enlighten you. And this chance possibility of paths crossing, lives changed, the opportunity to grow from a chance encounter and a friendship formed are all beautifully explored in this wonderful little film. Rupert Friend delightfully holds his own as he and Ms Plowright form what might seem like an unlikely but beautiful friendship. There is nary a false move in his performance nor hers. I'm buying a DVD copy of my own to share with my many senior friends who, I'm sure, have yet to enjoy this story.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of this years best, January 28, 2007
Joan Plowright gives one of her best performances in this deeply effecting little film.. I love all of the characters staying in the hotel..every detail is surprisingly well done.. This is no Harold and Maude tale as others have noted but rather a story of two people who seem to understand each other in a way that even their closest relations do not.. It is charming right to the end - even if somewhat predictable..

Joan Plowright has such a lovely presence and never has to force her acting at all - she is so natural and believable.. I am sure this movie will have a lasting power..
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Age is but a state of mind!, February 11, 2007
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One chance meeting, two changed lives. I suggest before you watch the DVD you listen to the narrative of the producer and director which is a value add on the DVD. It will give you great4er insight into this delightful film that seems timeless. An elegant wido Joan Plowright plays Mrs. Paltrey who moves into a residence hotel called the Claremont in London. Instead of it being a cosmopolitan boutique hotel, it turns out to be one of those forgettable places with the bath down the hall. A chance meeting with a dashing young writer Rubert Friend changes both of their lives. They were meant to meet. NO this is not a may/december love story but it is a romance of a certain kind. A nice valentine to any age who doesn't know that love comes in many places and ways in our lives. And it's important to embrace it and accept it and be grateful for what crosses our path. Family of choice is sometimes so much more meaningful than family of chance (the one you're born into). This was an indy film made for $1 million on location in London -- amazing quality and a charming script. Bravo.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love: Meeting the Needs of the Aged and the Youthful, December 24, 2006
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MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT is an adaptation by Ruth Sacks of the book by British novelist Elizabeth Taylor (1912 - 1975) and directed with consummate skill by Dan Ireland. It is a showcase for the extraordinary talents of Dame Joan Plowright who owns the title role

Mrs. Palfrey (Plowright) is recently widowed and decides to move to a small hotel in London to spend her last years as a lady of independence. The Claremont is a crumbling old edifice that serves as a retirement home for a small but fascinating group of tenants: the fastidious but cranky Mrs. Arbuthnot (Anna Massey), a would-be suitor for Mrs. Palfrey's hand Mr. Osborne (Robert Lang), Mrs. Post (Marcia Warren), the nosy matchmaker Mrs. Burton (Georgina Hale), and a strange old couple, the De Salises (Millicent Martin and Michael Culkin). Once settled into her barely navigable room, Mrs. Palfrey meets her fellow 'inmates' at dinner, and announces that she has a grandson who will be calling on her at times. Yet despite multiple attempts her grandson Desmond (Lorcan O'Toole) doesn't respond and Mrs. Palfrey realizes she has entered a world of loneliness.

Out on an errand she falls and is befriended by a handsome young busker/writer Ludovic Meyer (Rupert Friend) who nurses her leg wound, makes her tea, and escorts her home. Ludo is a loner and lonely and when Mrs. Palfrey offers him dinner at the hotel he gladly accepts. But at the hotel the guests presume that Mrs. Palfrey's guest will be her grandson Desmond: Mrs. Palfrey hastily informs Ludo that she has erred and Ludo agrees to pose as her grandson. The guests at the hotel are charmed by Ludo, and Mrs. Palfrey and Ludo grow increasingly bonded - they share many likes and tastes and meld into a beautiful relationship that would be the envy of any grandmother and grandson. Mrs. Palfrey's loneliness is dissipated by Ludo and the effect is vice versa. How the two progress to the end of the film, finding new lives from old ones, forms the immensely touching finale to the film.

Though this film falls into the 'ensemble acting' category, so finely entwined are the performances of every actor in the cast, the film clearly belongs to Dame Joan Plowright whose performance once again proves that she is one of the durable treasures of cinema and stage. This is a film that will touch the hearts of even the most hardened viewers and this viewer cannot recommend it more highly. Grady Harp, December 06
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Imaginary Home for a While, June 15, 2007
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I enjoyed spending time with Mrs. Palfrey, the widowed grandmother portrayed by Joan Plowright. I enjoyed the handsome Rupert Friend's perfect portrayal of the kind, young stranger who befriends his new neighbor. I enjoyed the lovely Claremont hotel. I enjoyed both the residents and employees of the hotel. I enjoyed the neighborhood, which appeared to be a natural setting. I enjoyed the story of a grandmother who lives alone, has difficulty connecting with her family, but finds reason and goodness in others. I was very comfortable in that story, in that setting, with those people. I could have stayed longer, but the story ended just as I got settled in. It ended quickly and quietly, before I was prepared for it to end. In most movies I can see the end coming. This one surprised me, maybe because I was so comfortable. I was very affected by the quietness of this film. Several very important events occurred, but all happened quietly. I miss them now.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Palfrey At The Claremont, July 14, 2007
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OH, how I wish there were more DVD's like this one. I think any woman that has lived her life giving to everyone else can appreciate this film. It is so true to life and it is something we will all have to face. I am so glad I have this DVD in my library.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't always choose your family, July 20, 2008
But sometimes, if you're lucky you might just fall into people who are closer to you than blood. When widowed Mrs. Sarah Palfrey (Joan Plowright) decides to not be a burden on her daughter, she moves into the Claremont Hotel in London. It's quite a disappointment from what she was hoping, but she makes do with amazing spirit. Unfortunately, neither her daughter or her grandson have time to visit her or even return her calls.

One day a fortunate fall places her in the hands of young writer, Ludovic Meyer (Rupert Friend). The pair are drawn to each other from the beginning and when she invites him to dinner, the other folks at the home believe that he's the grandson she's been extolling. Neither Mrs. P. nor Ludo are willing to dissuade them, so they keep up the relationship. Mrs. P. gets a chance at seeing the world through a young man's eyes and Ludo learns about the classics including Mrs. P.'s favorite film, which coincidentally gets him introduced to the love of his life.

This ia a grand tale told only as the British could with elegance and understatement. Watch out for Rupert Friend. We will be seeing him again and I hope for big things from this talented young actor.

Rebecca Kyle, July 2008
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film, April 15, 2007
Just loved this movie! A beautiful film, a lovely story. Perfectly produced. Great acting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden, January 17, 2007
If you want to leave the worries of every day and consider the intimate moments of a life lived well, consider this lovely little gem. Joan and her co-star will give you a delightful little getaway from the nasty and open a window into the sublime. Relationships should be so lovely!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! Old-time appeal., September 10, 2007
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This must have been a "sleeper" because I had never heard of it until a co-worker mentioned it and said it was good. I rented it from Netflix and I fell in love with it. The story is simple, and I suppose one could say it was perdictable, but that doesn't take away from the warm, well acted appeal of the film. There isn't any vulgarity, no sex and no violence. Maybe that's why the film never made a "hit" with film critics and movie goers. The widowed Mrs. Palfrey takes a little "vacation" for herself and makes reservations at an older hotel that (in its prime)was a high-class establishment. Unfortunately, the years were not kind and it has become quite run down. After taking such pains to make "a good first impression" with her appearance, Mrs. Palfrey finds herself a little out of her element. The permanent guests are an interesting assortment and a "family" atmosphere emerges. Mrs. Palfrey's family leaves something to be desired (her daughter is wrapped up in her own life, and her grandson isn't any better). Feeling the need to present an errant grandson to her fellow guests, Mrs. Palfrey "adopts" a young man she mets in London, and the story takes off from there. Personally, I found it refreshing, funny, sad, and left me feeling good after watching it. If you like a film that will touch your heart and leave you with a good feel - this is it! Turn off the phone, get a bowl of popcorn and sit back and prepare to be truly immersed in a great story!
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Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Dan Ireland (DVD - 2010)
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