Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

Laurence Olivier's widow, Joan Plowright ("Dance With Me" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles"), is Mrs. Palfrey. She is a Scottish widow who has moved to London to be on her own for the first time in her life. To her dismay, she discovers that the Claremont is nothing but an old folk's home where the elderly live quietly boring lives. She attempts to contact her only grandson, who is an archivist at the British Museum, but he doesn't return her calls.

One day, while returning from mailing a letter, she trips and falls. A young man (Rupert Friend! Write that down!) comes dashing out of his daylight apartment and helps her to her feet. He takes her inside, tends her injured knee, and makes her a cup of tea. To reciprocate, she invites him to the Claremont dining room for dinner the following Saturday.

When she announces at the Claremont she will be having a guest later on that week, the others immediately conclude that it is her mythical grandson, come at last! She fails to correct their error in time and realizes she has painted herself into a corner. She quickly warns the young man and he is sure he can play along and pretend to be her grandson. After all, he is a busker, an actor and a would-be writer, so feels he has both the talent and the wit to carry it off.

Their friendship grows and they both gain a great deal from their intergenerational exchange of ideas and points of view, movies and music, poetry and philosophy.

Everything goes very, very well until her real grandson drops by to visit....and her domineering daughter gets involved.... and Mrs. Palfrey gets a proposal of marriage...and...

By the way, this is heartwarming in a sweetly poignant way...

I must warn you...the DVD does NOT have closed captions, which was a big disappointment to me, as I rely on them far more than most of you. On the other hand, I must express my heartfelt gratitude that evidently British writers are forced to type with their shirts off! Let's hear it for artistic integrity!

The only other movie I know of that our Mr. Friend has appeared in so far, is the Keira Knightley version of "Pride and Prejudice." Unfortunately, he's Mr. Wickham... But we'll all keep an eye out for him, okay?