Film Scouts Reviews

"A Month by the Lake"

by Eleanor Ringel

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The month may be May, but this movie is clearly intended to enchant the "Enchanted April" crowd. In 1937, "that last fantastic summer before the war," a middle-aged Englishwoman (Vanessa Redgrave) on holiday on Lake Cuomo falls for a stuffy yet decent British Major (Edward Fox) who's also vacationing in Italy. Trouble is, he's infatuated with a young-enough-to-be- his-daughter flirt (Uma Thurman). Redgrave is fascinating as ever, using a sublime comic sensibility to lift her character out of a noble but wilted stereotype. Thurman is also fine, showing us a woman who's flaw isn't meanness, but the vacuous cruelty of youth and beauty. Director John Irvin's film is a slight romantic idyll, nothing more. But it benefits greatly from its luscious setting and well-composed cast. If a civilized diversion is what you're in the mood for, here it is with all the sun-dappled trimmings.

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