A Month By The Lake

on September 22, 1995 by Pat Kramer
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Screened at Toronto. Set in a romantic resort in 1937 Italy, this film depicts a middle-aged woman's celebration of life while alone on vacation for the first time. Vanessa Redgrave refreshingly portrays a high-spirited Englishwoman who has thoughts of a liasion with a stuffy fellow countryman, Major Wilshaw (Edward Fox). When the Major turns his attentions to a younger American woman (Uma Thurman), the Englishwoman decides to wage war, using as bait an attractive young man.
Redgrave's character is full of life, but there's no chemistry between her and the straight-laced Major, so it seems unlikely she would choose him for her mate to live with happily ever after. And, although war threatens around every corner during this love story, we catch only a glimpse of its effects on the vacationers, as if they were somehow immune to the goings-on in this paradise by water.
Intended as a love story, "A Month by the Lake" misses its mark; what could have been an interesting storyline is traded in for a more predictable, less compelling conclusion. Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox and Uma Thurman. Directed by John Irvin. Written by Trevor Bentham. Produced by Robert Fox. A Miramax release. Romance. Rated PG for moments of sensuality. Running time: 94 min.
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