Two proper Englishwomen, determined to get away from their drab lives and inattentive husbands, find paradise among the serene countryside of the Italian Rivera in this enchanting adventure staring Josie Lawrence and Miran... more »da Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
When the pair rents a magnificent villa for a month, they share expenses with two unlikely companions an austere widow and a bored socialite. At first, personalities clash, but the hideaway holds a special magic that soon sparks friendships and reminds the women of ways to live and love that have long eluded them. Stellar performances and breathtaking scenery make the Academy Award-nominated Enchanted April (1992: Best Supporting Actress, Joan Plowright; Best Costume Design; Best Adapted Screenplay) a captivating delight for everyone who's ever dreamed of taking the perfect holiday.« less
Jan B. from STATEN ISLAND, NY Reviewed on 5/29/2014...
I absolutely loved this movie. It's beautiful scenery, in addition to the wonderful story and acting, lead me to ask the question: why no blu-ray? I own the disc but will happily buy the blu-ray version!!
Ellen G. from NAPA, CA Reviewed on 7/23/2011...
Beautiful scenery, beautifully acted - a really good "mood" movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Enchanting Film Will Have You Dreaming of Sunny Italy
Antoinette Klein | Hoover, Alabama USA | 04/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie opens in rain-drenched England as down-hearted and dispirited Lottie Wilkins trudges through her day. An advertisement in the paper promising "Wisteria and Sunshine" at an Italian castle catches her eye. She seeks out another forlorn soul, Rose Arbuthnot, and convinces her to share this villa for the month of April. Because of expenses, they are forced to also take in two strangers to share the load. Joining them will be Mrs. Fisher, an elderly woman who is hoping to remember "better times and better men," and the beautiful Lady Caroline who is tired of the constant attention she receives and longs for a restorative quiet time. When they arrive it is still raining, but at least as one of them so aptly puts it, "This is Italian rain." When morning dawns, the sun comes out and remains with them for the month.Enchanted with the peace and tranquility of her new surroundings, Lottie longs to share her joy with her husband. When he arrives, Lottie urges Rose to invite her husband as well, but Rose fears that her husband, an author of racy novels under a pen name, will not come. Imagine her surprise when he shows up immediately. Of course, the catch is that he had no idea his wife was there but was hoping to have a dalliance with Lady Caroline.In the peaceful Italian sun, marriages heal, new love blossoms, and unlikely friendships are born. The movie is light, filled with delicious humor and profound sentiments to stir your heart and soul.Most enchanting of all may be the beautiful scenes filmed on location in Portofino. This is a great movie for self-medication in the gloom of winter when you want to seek greener pastures or just plain wonderful any day."
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 08/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mike Newell's film casts a seductive, mesmerizing spell on its audience. I strongly encourage you to see it if you have not.
Josie Lawrence leads a strong cast as Lottie Wilkins, a dowdy London housewife who we meet in the film's first frames trudging through post-WW I London. We meet Alfred Molina as her overbearing husband, Mellersh, who eyes all relationships as potential business opportunities, and sees his wife as not much more than a pet.
Lottie is riding on the bus in the dreary rain one day when she sees an advertisement on the back of the paper for an Italian Castle to be let for the month of April among the "Wisteria and Sunshine". Lottie's life hasn't allowed her much love or friendship, but she decides that she MUST take this April Holiday at San Salvatori. She approaches Rose Arbuthnot, who she barely knows, but has seen looking sad at Church services.
Rose is played by Miranda Richardson in a performance that suggests, if anything, that she has had her happiness even more suppressed than Lottie. Her husband, Arthur, is played by Jim Broadbent in full ruddy-faced glory. Arthur is a hedonistic author who writes pulpy trash novels with names like "Theodocia, the Slave Princess". He also chases after other young women who come closer to meeting his ideal of fun than his pious wife.
Lottie and Rose secure the rent of the villa and decide to advertise for a couple of other ladies to share the expense. Joan Plowright plays Mrs. Fisher, an older lady who grew up bouncing on the knee of the great English Poets of the day. Blundering Lottie asks "Oh, did you know Keats?" a century and a half after Keat's day.
"No", Mrs. Fisher replies with disdain. "And I didn't know Shakespeare or Chaucer either."
Polly Walker is the poster-girl of the group as Lady Caroline Dester, daughter of an extremely rich and aristocratic English Lord. Caroline moves in the most social of circles, but she has grown tired of being around men who paw and grab after her. She just wants a little time to "smooth her feathers".
Michael Kitchen plays George Briggs, the owner of the Italian Castle. Mr. Briggs is something of a mystery, as it appears that he is a wealthy English businessman, but he is also a gifted musician in addition to owning an Italian Castle, complete with a full staff. He is extremely short-sighted and doesn't bother to keep his immediate surroundings tidy. His few scenes are among the best of the movie.
These 4 ladies converge upon the Italian Castle and there... magic happens. I could go into detail, but I'd spoil you the pleasure of finding out for yourself. There are several times when the plot throws a wrench into the works, and in a different, lesser story, the movie would have degenerated into hysterical "drama". The way this film reveals and resolves these confrontations is like.... a breath of fresh Italian breeze through the Wisteria. I would ask only that you consider the shots of the moon in the penultimate scene - consider what the size and location of the moon means with regard to the tone of what is happening in the scene in the foreground. It is delightful.
If you can watch "Enchanted April" and not be charmed I feel truly sorry for you. It is on my very short list of very favorite films.
It is inexcusable that such a fine, recent release is not available on dvd."
Good News, DVD To Be Released Soon!
Butterfly | Arizona | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many thanks to another review that provided a contact name and email address. I sent an email to Stuart Snaith many weeks ago, and just received a reply today (18 July 2008) from Liz Hammond. Liz said the problems over film rights have been resolved and the Enchanted April DVD is due to be released as soon as December 2008 or possibly as late as Spring 2009. I trust our long wait is coming to a close."
Still waiting for this on DVD:
operamaryc | DIAMOND BAR, CA United States | 02/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank goodness I purchased this on laser disc and can still watch it. And, watch it I do about 3 to 4 times a year just because it makes me feel really good. It is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time! (I'm 65 so that covers a lot of movies! Great cast, great acting the perfect balance of visuals is achieved in gorgeous Italy. Somehow you almost feel the sun and smell the flowers. At least you'll want to call your travel agent after first viewing this marvelous movie. Buy it on VHS if that's all you can because it isn't out on DVD in US yet and may never be. A shame! Such junk can get exposure on DVD and a lovely film like this with some of the best actors in England can't. Buy it! Everyone I've shown it to just loves it!"
After all this wait, a terrible transfer!
Mark Irwin | 05/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Of course this is one of the best films ever made. But for those of us who saw it in the theatre, bought the VHS, then bought the Laserdisc, this is a terrible disappointment. The sound quality is poor and uneven. The film looks like it was run at a grindhouse for a year before they made the transfer. Spots, runs, fades, off-colors, grain--in short, WHY? Why not take a film everyone's been waiting to appear for years & get the negative out of the vault? Do a little resotration? Shame on Miramax & Disney--they certainly won't be in my "tub of love" anytime soon."