- Enchanted April review by Steve Mason
This version of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel (filmed badly in 1935) was originally made for the BBC but later given a cinema release by Miramax. Four women mostly suffering from disappointing marriages, the grey fustiness of London and English middle class life, and a lingering despair brought on by World War I, travel to the picturesque fishing village of Portofino in north western Italy. There, established in a castle rented to tourists, in the light and warmth of their surroundings, the society of local inhabitants and free from the restrictions of their usual lives, they begin to thrive and grow again. So pure escapism. A vicarious fantasy. Yet such a beautiful one, which works like an opiate flooding our veins and then our hearts with sweet release. The light, the Italian locations, the beautiful performances, they all allow us a little of the peace and optimism that the ladies find within themselves, released by the Italian riviera. And in my 1991, that was glorious, charming and irresistible.
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