I have long been an admirer of Elizabeth Taylor's novels, and was pleased to see the film version of "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" advertised in a cinema in Ashland Oregon a couple of years ago. For some reason I cannot explain the movie never appeared in local cinemas in Canada, nor did I read anything about it (or about Joan Plowright's award for her marvellous performance) in the press here at home. Therefore I was delighted to see it had become available in DVD, nor was I in any way disappointed by my first viewing of it--as so often does happen when I see a much-loved novel turned into a film.
This is a remarkable treatment of a "brief encounter" theme, showing beautifully how happenstance can be a means of grace. The two mismatched
companions, both wonderfully realized in stellar performances by Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend, are part of a formidable cast of actors in a London setting quite splendidly realized. What is further amazing about amazon.ca's description of this video is that Plowright herself does not appear in the product details, and neither do two other outstanding members of a consummate cast--Rupert Friend and Anna Massey. I shall now look for anything else the fine director Dan Ireland may have transferred from novel to film, and recommend this DVD to anyone who will listen--especially those who love poetry and who are open to subtle evocations of angelic interventions in the lives of those who accept the workings of divine grace.