Palace Nova Cinemas from 10 November
Review by Geoff Jenke
Blithe Spirit is a riotous reimagining of Noël Coward’s classic comedy from director Edward Hall. It tells the story of a love that just won’t die.
Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey) is suffering from terrible writer’s block amidst a looming deadline for his first screenplay. His picture-perfect new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic) is doing her best to keep him focused in the hope of fulfilling her dream of leaving London for Hollywood.
Charles’ quest for inspiration leads him to invite the eccentric mystic Madame Acarti (Dame Judi Dench in her funniest role in years) to perform a séance in his home, but he gets more than he bargained for when Madame Acarti accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife: the brilliant and fiery Elvira (Leslie Mann, This Is 40).
Shocked to discover the prim and proper Ruth is now married to her husband, the determined Elvira embarks on a mission. Charles finds himself stuck between his two wives in an increasingly comical and deadly love triangle in this lethally hilarious comedy.
The British do movies well. I could not imagine this movie coming out of Hollywood and still having the same charm. Yes, it is a goofy ghost story but in the hands of the wonderful cast, they just make it so likable. Dan Stevens (as Charles) and Ruth Fisher (as Ruth) are two characters who just deserve each other. One is a philanderer and the other using her husband to rise is status in the world. The fact Charles first wife comes between them, albeit as a ghost, just complicates things and even throws in a few twists along the way.
The film maybe a little lightweight in comedy, a little breezy and even the story line slightly trifle, but it is pure delight of a film to watch.
Make a date with your partner or with friends and go see this movie.
The British Film Festival, presented by Palace returns in 2020 for its seventh year with a standout selection of films from the British Isles.
The line-up features 22 films, including some of the most anticipated British cinema of the year – from powerful true stories and literary adaptations to comedies and documentaries.