Dames Smith and Dench get a bit of excitement in their lives when a young man washes up on the shore. One develops a crush on the man.
Charles Dance directing Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith - it doesn't get much more English than this. Neither do the lives of 1930s spinster sisters Janet (Smith) and Ursula (Dench), until a mysterious Polish castaway, Andrea (Bruhl), drifts onto the shores of their isolated Cornish home.
The pair nurse him to health, Ursula's crush on the young man fuelling her fervour for the task and embarrassing her uptight sibling.
This hopeless devotion drives the film's plot and poignancy, especially when her jealousy of a holidaying artist (McElhone) looks set to interfere with Andrea's future happiness.
While relying on the familiar trimmings of conservative British period dramas, this is a consistently amusing, touching story of two women and their responses to change.
Reviewed by Anna Smith