Enchanted April

Enchanted April

On DVD: 
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Running Time: 
93 Minutes

3 Academy Award Nominations

Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) brings new life to Elizabeth Von Arnim’s novel capturing a beautiful Italian countryside in which two proper Englishwomen attempt to leave behind their lives and husbands to find themselves. Miranda Richardson as Rose Arbuthnot (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Josie Lawrence as Lottie Wilkens (EastEnders) have put together funds to pay for said vacation but need to find at least two more women to help them pay for every day expenses. In comes actress Joan Plowright as Ms. Fisher (The Spiderwick Chronicles), a stern and very proper older woman and Polly Walker as Caroline Dester (Rome) a most improper younger woman. Personalities clash but the enchantments of Italy and the surrounding landscapes manage to bring them together.

This film, for all intents and purposes, is about love. Plain and simple. As the film began I sat there bored out of my mind waiting for something to happen and trying as hard as I could to translate the silent scenes in the film that, without a doubt, portrayed emotion of some sort by way of inaction. As the film entered its last half hour everything began to come together and what I had thought was simply poor direction and soft writing wound up having quite an impact on the film overall.

Imagine if you will the routine of love that we must all fall into in the beginning. Those first few days or weeks or months of courtship are magical. There isn’t anything you wont do or say to make the love in your life feel special, comfortable, like the rest of the world doesn’t even exist. Eventually the magic begins to fade. The love isn’t lost (usually) but that magical time in your lives is over. If you want to find it again your going to have to find some way of re-creating it and even then, as it isn’t natural, it just doesn’t feel as special. Take this lot in Enchanted April. The stresses of everyday life have taken their toll, the men in the film are slaves to societal perception and the women find themselves starving for affection. For them that magical courting period has been over for a very long time. Fast forward to Italy in which they find themselves in a place without worry, their husbands eventually at their sides. Love crops up everywhere around them and it takes the keen eye and understanding of someone who has had or has love or has lost love. Its simply an amazing feat in which the subtle use of the emotion is neither for or against but left to the judgment of the viewer. For them, they have found that magic regardless of everything else.

While the film isn’t one that I would add to my collection it does merit a viewing, especially if you enjoy British period pieces (Enchanted April taking place in the 1920’s). Also stars Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code), Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), and Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War). Sadly the only special feature on the disc is commentary.Enjoy.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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