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A Month by the Lake

Where to Watch A Month by the Lake

PG
1995

A Month by the Lake, released in 1995, is an enchanting period romantic dramedy directed by John Irvin. It's an adapted screenplay by Trevor Bentham based on the 1947 play by H.E. Bates, demonstrating a harmonious blend of romance, comedy, and palpable emotions. This redolent 92-minute film is set against the glorious backdrop of pre-World War II Italy, around the idyllic Lake Como, creating a romantic atmosphere that brims with vintage allure.

The star-studded cast boasts of Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, and Uma Thurman, whose astounding performances infuse life and bear incredible authenticity to the narrative. Redgrave shines in her role as an assertive and fun-loving Englishwoman Miss Bentley, bringing in a unique dynamic with her fantastically vivacious performance. She is visiting Italy and has been holidaying by the lake since she was a young girl.

Edward Fox commands the screen as Major Wilshaw, the slightly staid and trustworthy bachelor who reciprocates Miss Bentley's flirtations with an intriguing mix of reticence and old-world charm. Their romantic chemistry and camaraderie bring a spark of nostalgia and anticipation that form the heart of the narrative.

Uma Thurman plays the young American nanny Miss Beaumont, whom Major Wilshaw befriends. Thurman delivers a commendable performance as the naive, immature, and somewhat aimless character, who unintentionally forms a love triangle, adding a layer of complexity and humor to the story.

The narrative is set in the summer of 1937, a time of robe-clad holiday-goers, morning picnics, carefree bike rides, and afternoons of lolling by the lido. It rainbow-arches over the relationships that this trio shares with each other during their stay. The movie beautifully captures their complex interpersonal dynamics that evolve over a month by the lake. The scenic beauty of Como, coupled with the light-hearted humor and emotional depth in the screenplay, helps paint a picture that is delightful and engaging to watch.

Redgrave's Miss Bentley initiates flirtations with Fox's Major Wilshaw amidst their shared pastime of photography. Their budding relationship experiences a tumult when Thurman's young Miss Beaumont enters the scene. Major Wilshaw, discreetly attracted to Miss Beaumont's youthful exuberance, sees her as a break from his regular, structured life, leading to fun, unexpected twists and turns.

The director John Irvin intricately weaves the story around this love triangle, with nuances hinting at Miss Beaumont’s crush on a married man back in Boston and how Miss Bentley skillfully navigates this situation. The tactical maneuvering of relationships, coupled with comic timing, makes certain situations hilarious, while some tug at your heartstrings.

The cinematography by Pasqualino de Santis is mesmerizing; the warm, sun-drenched landscapes of Lake Como are photographed to reflect their vibrancy and cheerfulness effortlessly. De Santis captures the essence of the location and uses it not just as a backdrop but also a character, mesmerizing and cheerful, mirroring the tonality of the narrative.

Heavenly notes composed by Nicola Piovani pleasantly soak into the scenes, enhancing the narrative's credibility and texture. The music resonates with the viewer, accentuating the movie's romantic, light-hearted, and sometimes melancholic undertones.

The costumes (designed by Giorgio Desideri and Andrea Viotti) and the production design (handled by Gianni Quaranta) greatly contribute to the feel of the era. The impeccable detailing transports every cinephile to the charm of 1930s Europe, enhancing the film's visual storytelling.

A Month by the Lake explores themes of love, age-disparity, desire, and companionship. It uncovers the uncertainties and insecurities of aging, the naive fluttering of youthful love, and the subsequent revelations it brings about human connection. This film promises to be an aesthetically delightful cinematic feast, and, at its core, it is a charmingly classic tale of romance, longing, and misinterpretation. Underneath the light-hearted jest and jesters' masks lies a deeper understanding of individuals navigating their paths of desire amid societal norms.

In conclusion, A Month by the Lake is an elegant, picturesque composition. It's a lighthearted movie that will make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, heaved with sighs, and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling. It's a delightful watch for anyone who appreciates period films, enjoys romantic narratives and cherishes outstanding performances. So, whether you've been contemplating watching an old-world romance or just wish to lose yourself in the beautiful setting of Lake Como, A Month by the Lake is just the right mix of charm, storytelling, and performances you've been looking for.

A Month by the Lake is a Comedy, Drama, Romance movie released in 1995. It has a runtime of 92 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2..

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6.2/10
Director
John Irvin
Stars
Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, Uma Thurman
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