Enchanted April is a 1991 film directed by Mike Newell. The screenplay by Peter Barnes was adapted from Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel The Enchanted April. The film stars Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, and Joan Plowright, with Alfred Molina, Michael Kitchen, and Jim Broadbent in supporting roles.
|Directed by||Mike Newell|
|Written by||Peter Barnes|
|Music by||Richard Rodney Bennett|
|Edited by||Dick Allen|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Elizabeth von Arnim's novel tells of four dissimilar women in 1920s England who leave their rainy, grey environments to go on holiday in Italy. Mrs Arbuthnot and Mrs Wilkins, who belong to the same ladies' club, but have never spoken, become acquainted after reading a newspaper advertisement for a small medieval castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April. They find some common ground in that both are struggling to make the best of unhappy marriages. Having decided to seek other ladies to help share expenses, they reluctantly take on the elegant but peevish elderly Mrs Fisher, and the stunning, aloof, and very wealthy Lady Caroline Dester. The four women come together at the castle and, after many unexpected twists and turns, find rejuvenation in the tranquil beauty of their surroundings, rediscovering hope and love.
The film was shot on location at Castello Brown in Portofino, Italy; the same castle where the author of the book stayed in the 1920s. The score by Richard Rodney Bennett, featuring winsome flute and oboe themes, effectively evokes the film's mood and accentuates the story's sentimentality and nostalgia.
The film gained a positive reaction from critics and currently holds an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews.