Movie Details

Two sisters engage in a subtle war for the affections of a man half their age in this British comedy drama. It's 1936, and Janet Widdington (Maggie Smith) and her sister, Ursula (Judi Dench), are a pair of elderly spinsters who share a home in Cornwall on the coast of England. After a storm, the sisters discover that someone has been washed up on the beach in front of their house. Bringing the body inside, they discover the victim is a handsome Polish man named Andrea Marowski (Daniel Brühl) who has suffered a broken ankle and speaks no English, only Polish and German. As the sisters patch up Andrea's ankle, Janet dusts off her old German textbook from school, and begins getting to know more about their guest. It isn't long before Janet develops an infatuation for the good-looking stranger, and attempts to teach him English, which is more than a bit maddening to Ursula, who has fallen head over heels for him -- especially after the sisters discover he's a gifted violinist and hear him display his craft on a borrowed instrument. As the sisters find themselves vying for Andrea's attention, they wonder if they should report his presence to the authorities, especially after Olga (Natascha McElhone), an attractive woman in her early thirties who lives nearby, becomes aware of Andrea's presence in the home and wants to make contact with him. Based on a short story by William J. Locke, Ladies in Lavender marked the directorial debut of actor Charles Dance. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi