Maggie Smith stars as romantic novelist Mrs Delahunty, who invites her fellow survivors of a terrorist train blast to convalesce in her Italian villa: the old British General (Ronnie Barker), the young German man Werner (Benno Fürmann) and the orphaned American kid Aimee (Emmy Clarke), whose uncle, Thomas Riversmith (Chris Cooper), arrives to take her back home to the US.
Smith enjoys herself extravagantly in director Richard Loncraine’s cute, gorgeous-looking, little 2003 heartwarming mystery romantic drama. Barker also has space to shine. Giancarlo Giannini plays Inspector Girotti, the dogged police detective investigating the explosion.
Also in the cast are Timothy Spall, Lynn Swanson, Alison Adam, Deirdre Harrison, Anna Longhi and Libero De Rienzo.
It was premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on 8 March 2003, shown at the Cannes Film Festival on 15 May, and released in the US and Canada on 25 May 2003, and finally in the UK on 26 November.
It was the last film of national treasure Ronnie Barker, who died on aged 76.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4360
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