A haunting ghost story spanning two worlds, more than a century apart. When 13-year-old Tolly finds he can mysteriously travel between the two, he begins an adventure that unlocks family secrets laid buried for generations.
At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Dame Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying... See full summary »
After surviving a gruesome terrorist attack on an Italian train line, romance novelist Emily Delahunty opens up her home and solitary life to a trio of stranded survivors. She soon forms friendships with each, but develops a special attachment to the young orphan Aimee. So when Aimee's distant uncle arrives to retrieve the girl, Emily strives to convince the cold, mourning man that Umbria is Aimee's rightful home.Written by
Maggie Smith's car is an Alfa Romeo 6C-2500, produced between 1947 and 1953. It is a five-seat touring car popular with affluent postwar customers interested in a sporty yet comfortable vehicle. See more »
Mrs. Emily Delahunty:
My real parents were... travellig entertainers. They had no use for a child. "Not the sort of people you'd care for", said the mother who wasn't my mother. The people I lived with couldn't have children. They bought me.
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This is quiet gem of a film. The storyline is basic, almost simplistic, but the direction allows the actors to add value where it counts.
Maggie Smith is delightful as the aged authoress, with a penchant for Grappa who, after a bomb explodes on a train, offer the survivors of her compartment, recuperation at her home in Umbria.
The Italian countryside is simply magnificent, the photography of Maggie Smith's villa and its surrounds(or should I say Mrs Delahunter's villa) gives a beautiful feeling of a somewhat tired place of residence for a somewhat tired individual, who has been there and done that but in a rather upper class British way. There are the usual disparate individuals coming to terms (or not?) with their their problems and then we have the police inspector, trying to suss whether any of the 'guests' can help. Unfortunately this aspect of the film, particularly the dealings with the police inspector, adds little and if anything detracts from the story. It is a necessary component but I feel could have been integrated better.
The supporting cast, particularly Ronnie Barker and Timothy Spall, add to the ambiance of the film and its quiet charm.
Why only seven out of ten? The direction I think is a little too light in that if it were not for the calibre of the actors, this might have been a poor 'B' Movie, but perhaps that is what the Director intended by letting good acting raise the film beyond its basic storyline.
This is now shown on TV, so give yourselves a treat, forget being a film reviewer and just soak up the acting and the atmosphere. If it is not on your local TV, it is worth renting for a night - just make sure you and you partner(it is essential that you and your partner watch this together) have a nice chilled glass of a sparkling Italian wine and indulge in quiet, but thoroughly pleasant entertainment.
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