Picks and Pans Review: A Month by the Lake
updated 11/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
If you loved Enchanted April, you will be charmed by Month. On the other hand if you found yourself nodding off during April, as I did, ushers may have to prod you, poke you, even call for smelling salts. This formula is true and plain—and one only wishes all of life were so.
Redgrave is a spirited, unmarried British lady of a certain age, or slightly past it, spending a mild, sun-dappled summer in an Italian hotel by Lake Como. She develops a crush on another British vacationer, a retired army major (Fox). He, in turn, is having stirrings for a young, flirtatious governess (Thurman). The romantic repercussions are rather tinkling, like a Chopin waltz played on a music box. Over and over.
It's always a pleasure to see Redgrave, but her raw emotional strength is wrong for a movie so feebly genteel. She has one transcendent scene: When Fox gives her an unexpected compliment, her jaw goes slack and, gazing off across the lake, her eyes dim with a sort of glassy ecstasy. Fox, too, has a fine moment of comic yet tender pathos, when the object of his affection ridicules him by comparing him to a candlestick. But Thurman's neurotic, flighty coquette is a weird misfire. She suggests Deborah Kerr on cocaine. (R)