OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

From the director of Shakespeare In Love and Mrs Brown

Poster art for The Best Exotic Marigold HotelFor a disparate group of English pensioners, retirement takes an unconventional turn when they abandon their homeland, enticed by advertisements for ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, a seemingly luxurious sanctuary for ‘the elderly and beautiful’ in Jaipur, India. On arrival, they discover that the hotel falls somewhat short of the romantic idyll promised in the brochure, but they are gradually won over by the ever-optimistic young manager Sonny (Dev Patel), and tentatively embark on a new adventure, finding that life can begin again when you let go of the past.

The combination of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith promises a dignified yet playful tone, and this comedy-drama doesn’t disappoint. While Douglas (Bill Nighy) takes the complications in his stride, wife Jean (Penelope Wilton) refuses to leave the hotel and Muriel (Smith) reels in culture-clash horror. Add in Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and a tidy script based on Deborah Moggach’s novel and you have a highly enjoyable film. Charming, delightful, and amusing.

– Anna Smith, Empire
 

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