London, 1922. Lottie (Lawrence) is fed up: her fuddy-duddy husband (Molina) is the sort who says cut flowers are 'extravagant', and the weather is miserable. She decides to rent a small Italian castle for a month-long holiday, minus spouse. Joining her plans for temporary escape are a writer's disgruntled wife (Richardson), a snobbish widow (Plowright), and an aloof aristocrat (Walker). Period is tastefully evoked, and loving care has gone into the visuals; but crucially, a weak script (based on Elizabeth von Arnim's novel) lets down any spirit of adventure. Personalities clash but are cheerfully reconciled, and marital tensions are swiftly resolved. Newell does manage to draw out fine performances (although Lawrence struggles with an impossibly simplistic role), but this is a sentimental journey you'd be wise to avoid.
Cast and crew