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Calendar Girls
Calendar Girls
Actors: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton, John Alderton, Linda Bassett
Director: Nigel Cole
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG-13     2004     1hr 48min

When 12 ordinary members of the Women's Institute, a prim and proper local ladies' club, decide they need to find a more compelling way to raise money for a new charity, they turn to their traditional annual calendar and g...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton, John Alderton, Linda Bassett
Director: Nigel Cole
Creators: Ashley Rowe, Michael Parker, Nick Barton, Steve Clark-Hall, Suzanne Mackie, Juliette Towhidi, Tim Firth
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: WALT DISNEY VIDEO
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 05/04/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 4
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 3/29/2014...
I thought this was a very good film.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Heidi B. (kookie61) from FORT COLLINS, CO
Reviewed on 12/15/2011...
This is a fantastic movie and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to watch a light-hearted comedy.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mary M. (maryamitchell) from BOYNTON BEACH, FL
Reviewed on 11/29/2011...
Cute Movie!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kindra K. (Onion) from SAN ANTONIO, TX
Reviewed on 10/23/2011...
Fantastic, funny, heart-warming movie!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

"Not naked....nude!"
Kona | Emerald City | 01/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Calendar Girls is a sweet and uplifting British comedy based on a true story. Set in the picturesque village of Napely, we meet 50-something best friends Chris (Helen Miren) and Annie (Julie Walters). They belong to the local Women's Institute, which is staid and traditional, and to them, boring and silly. (Their annual fund-raising event is selling a calendar with photos of jams and flowers.) When Annie's beloved husband dies from cancer, some of the club members decide to raise money for a new sofa in the hospital waiting room by selling a calendar featuring themselves in the (gasp!) nude.

Helen Miren is great as the feisty and opinionated Chris, whose involvement alienates her family. Julie Walters is very likeable and sympathetic as the new widow. Ciaran Hinds, who has starred in many period films, has a small but good role as Chris' husband.

Most of the movie is beautifully photographed in rural England and it is simply idyllic. This is in sharp contrast to the unsavory scenes filmed in Hollywood (when the ladies appear on The Tonight Show.) The story is heartwarming, but avoids being syrupy. The nude scenes are tastefully done, and played for laughs, as one would expect. The real calendar, by the way, has so far raised $1.6M for a new cancer hospital wing (and the new sofa). I heartily recommend this refreshing and well-made comedy."
Loved it!
Shaz | Naples, FL USA | 01/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The film is based on the true story of the women of the Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire, England. Tired of having the same boring speakers (who delve into the fascinating world of rag rugs, or the different species of broccoli), member Annie (Julie Walters, "Billy Elliot") asks her husband John, an avid horticulturist, to speak at the institute. John, however, is battling luekemia, and before he can do his speech, he passes away. Annie and longtime pal Chris (Helen Mirren of "Gosford Park") decided to raise money to replace the hideously uncomfortable sofa in the relatives room of the hospital wing John was treated at. But another WI calendar featuring jams, flowers, or the countryside? That barely raised 75 pounds the previous year! Something in John's WI speech motivates Chris; "The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire", he wrote. "In each phase of their lives, they become more radiant". This impowers Chris and Annie to recruit 10 more WI members to strip down to the buff and pose for a professional photographer. The pictures turn out great, but the girls face trouble when their local WI branch president wants to put a stop to what she feels is a scandalous idea. Chris and Annie have to fight the head WI counsel, and each other, as their popularity grows. They go from Yorkshire, to the Jay Leno show in L.A. (where they lounge by their hotel pool with Anthrax!), and back again. But the huge success of the calendar begins to distract Chris from her family responsibilities, and threatens to put up a hedge between her and Annie. Helen Mirren gives a wonderful performance, and is well deserving of the Golden Globe she has been nominated for. A film not to be missed. For those who whine about having to see women over 50 in the nude, you've missed the point. Personally, I think these women look pretty darn great for their age!"
Obscuring the naughty bits
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1999, eleven members of the District Women's Institute in Rylstone, North Yorkshire, England posed starkers on a year 2000 calendar printed up to collect funds to benefit leukemia research after the death of John Baker, Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales and husband of WI member Angela, of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1998. What made the venture unusual was that the models were all just local ladies in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In the UK, 88,000 copies were eventually sold, and 250,000 in the States. CALENDAR GIRLS, based on this story, has been characterized by a principal as about 75% accurate in the re-telling, with the remainder being scriptwriter's embellishment for comedic or dramatic effect. The original idea for the calendar was suggested by Angela's friend, Tricia Stewart.In the film adaptation, Helen Mirren plays Chris Harper (based on real-life Tricia Stewart) and Julie Walters and John Alderton play Annie and John Clark respectively (based on Angela and John Baker). The calendar saga, from conception to realization and international fame, is centered in the fictional village of Knapley. Harper originally gets the idea after 1) finding a soft porn magazine hidden in her teenage son's room and 2) noticing a girlie calendar on the wall of a village shop. The plan is to produce and sell 500 copies of the calendar to raise the 900 pounds necessary to buy a new sofa for the Relatives' Waiting Room in the local hospital in which John Clark died of his disease. Not only must Chris and Annie surmount the understandable reluctance of their friends and fellow WI members to pose nude (not "naked"), but also convince the chairwomen of the District and National WI that the reputation of the organization won't be sullied.There is, of course, some nudity in the film, but, as on the calendar itself, it's discreetly done. The naughty bits are strategically hidden by sticky buns, flowering plants, and such. But enough of Helen Mirren is seen for the viewer to realize that physical beauty and maturity of "that certain age" are not mutually incompatible. Though the script touches on such sober subjects as teenage drug use and spousal infidelity, the film as a whole is delightfully witty, charming, warm, and poignant. And then there are the beautiful Yorkshire towns and fells in which the movie was shot. Is this one of the year's best films? No. Is it a great cinematic achievement? No again. But, I'm giving it five stars anyway because, as an entertainment vehicle, it's everything I ask for when I go to a motion picture show. I sat and watched with a silly smile on my face for almost the entire run time, and left the cinema in no way unsatisfied. What more could one reasonably want?"