Notes on “Enchanted April”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:The effectiveness of the 1991 “Enchanted April” is an upshot of its subtlety, its lightness of touch. Director Mike Newell resists making statements or following through on obvious setups. Even the screenplay’s twists seem less like engineered surprises than happy discoveries. (It was written by Peter Barnes.) Though the conception includes a heavy dose of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the trysting you’re conditioned to expect never comes; instead, the characters’ existing relationships are revivified or directed down more socially acceptable avenues. It’s a rare conservative take on romantic farce. (Presumably, that’s the take of the 1922 source novel, which I haven’t read.) Miranda Richardson is wonderful as the retiring mouse who is zapped and made elemental by Italy’s charged atmosphere. Her travel mate, played by Josie Lawrence, is similarly affected: towards the end of the picture Lawrence exudes so much sensuality that you feel a little embarrassed for her; she gives a courageously open performance. Like “High Season” or “The Trip to Italy,” “Enchanted April” shows us Northern Europeans being transformed by an encounter with the Mediterranean. I want to compare the movie to Hiroshi Shimizu’s wispy evocations of travel and temporary association, but I don’t want to sound like some kind of fucking egghead.

About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
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1 Response to Notes on “Enchanted April”

  1. Shelley says:

    the movie is very similar to the book, moving from the grey wet cold streets to sunny open fields. You get a sense that this is the first time that these women have been warm in their lives.


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