Stifled British wives Lottie (Josie Lawrence) and Rose (Miranda Richardson) rent an Italian villa for a husbandless vacation. Sharing the retreat are acerbic widow Mrs. Fisher (Oscar nominee Joan Plowright) and socialite Caroline (Polly Walker). The four spend a month savoring newfound freedom and the opportunity for self-discovery. Alfred Molina co-stars in this tale of 1920s English manners, based on Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel.
After first establishing himself as a craftsman of character-driven dramas and lighthearted romantic comedies in his native England, director Mike Newell ventured across the pond to direct several acclaimed American films, as well as a few major Hollywood blockbusters. Newell became known on British television with his acclaimed adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ “The Man in the Iron Mask” (ITC, 1977) before making his feature film debut with the graphic horror movie, “The Awakening” (1980). Having established himself within a diversity of genres, he was free to choose his own course, which eventually led to the acclaimed biographical drama, “Dance With a Stranger” (1985), and the charming romantic comedy, “Enchanted April” (1991). Newell became an international name thanks to “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994), a witty romantic comedy that helped turn Hugh Grant into a star. Taking a decidedly American turn, he directed the gritty crime drama, “Donnie Brasco” (1997), only to follow with… read more