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Ladies in Lavender 2004

Critics score:
63 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press: Just formula entertainment, classy but still trite. Read more

Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune: As compelling and original as this theme is, it's not enough to keep our attention, no matter how lovely the ladies in lavender are. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Dance has had the great good fortune to cast two legendary British actresses, and thus Ladies in Lavender gets elevated to the rare-treat category. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: There are two royal reasons to see the film -- Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith, both over 70 and still very much in their prime. Read more

Ebert & Roeper: Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A fascinating and involving chamber piece for two superb actresses. Read more

AV Club: Read more

Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic: The kind of Masterpiece Theater-type film that does its level best to bland us into a pleasant slumber. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Not even the skills of Dames Smith and Judi Dench can make this tea strong enough to swallow. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: A pleasure from start to finish. Read more

Houston Chronicle: Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: With the bell-jar atmosphere familiar to certain period pieces, it suggest we are not the only nation with tired, go-to genres. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: The two thespian lovelies would enchant just reading the phone book. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: A film of graceful persuasion and quiet majesty. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: Ladies in Lavender oscillates between scenes so relentlessly nice they make you want to scream and others -- particularly those depicting the crush Dench develops on her new housemate -- creepier than anything in The Amityville Horror. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: It is no more than a warm cup of tea on a chilly afternoon. The reward comes in seeing these two great actresses at work. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Smith is at her jauntiest, but it's Dench who catches you by surprise because she's rarely been given a character so emotionally vulnerable and delicately yearning. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Ultimately, Dance is unable to connect the many threads of his rather flimsy script, leading to an abrupt and somewhat unsatisfying conclusion. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: Ladies in Lavender offers the opportunity to watch two beloved dames of the British Empire rattle around a house in Cornwall. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Ladies in Lavender, carefully written and superbly directed by the actor Charles Dance, is a film of unusual elegance and artistry. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's a British period piece, full of the sylvan Cornish coast and countryside, vintage motorcars, steam threshers and sensibilities. Pity they left out a compelling plot. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Ladies in Lavender assembles those two great Dames, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, and sends them off to play sisters sharing a cozy little cottage on the Cornwall coast. That is an inspiration. What they do there is a disappointment. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, It's a conventional picture, but it feels so deeply alive that it's practically a novelty. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A sweet little character sketch that is low on drama but high on charm. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail: Pastel-light but highly pleasurable. Read more

Susan Walker, Toronto Star: As long as Dench or Smith is on the screen there's plenty to absorb one's interest. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Jay Weissberg, Variety: Full of delightful moments that throw into high relief the actors' craft. Read more

David Ng, Village Voice: While they never look bored, Smith and Dench are clearly slumming, having played these roles in other costume pics. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Under Dance's sure hand, and the even surer performances of Smith and Dench, who know that underplaying an emotion often increases its punch, the film is a small study in the dignity of letting go. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A funny, civilized little romantic drama in which Smith co-stars with the equally estimable Judi Dench. Read more