Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

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Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont ★★½ 2005

Charming, gentle and somewhat melancholy comedy about the unlikely friendship between a 70-something widow and a 20-something writer. Mrs. Palfrey (Plowright) lives as independently as possible at a London residential hotel for the elderly. She's hoping to become closer to her grandson Desmond (O'Toole), but he doesn't visit. Instead, she literally stumbles into young Ludovic Meyer (Friend), an equally lonely soul. A bond begins that extends to Ludovic passing himself off as the absent grandson to maintain Mrs. Palfrey's pride (which will cause later confusion). An adaptation of the Elizabeth Taylor novel, which was set in the 1950s. This film's budget couldn't stretch to such a re-creation so it was updated to the present, with some awkwardness. 108m/C DVD . GB Joan Plowright, Rupert Friend, Zoe Tapper, Anna Massey, Robert Lang, Marcia Warren, Millicent Martin, Lorcan O'Toole, Anna Carteret; D: Dan Ireland; W: Ruth Sacks; C: Claudio Rocha; M: Stephen Barton.