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A Reel Life film section

Spring 2003

Calendar Girls movie review

The local chapter of the Women's Institute in a North Yorkshire town is a bastion of banal presentations and mediocre fund raising. Last year's calendar raised £75.60.

When Annie Clarke's husband dies of leukemia, she proposes that the WI raise the money for a sofa for the family area of the hospital by doing a tasteful nude calendar of WI members. Her husband had said that plants were the most glorious in the latter stages of their life.

The project has many challenges: to convince older women to embrace their looks and take part in the calendar, to convince others that older women have their own charms, to convince the hidebound WI that this is not a terrible idead, to find a tasteful photographer to do the work.

Movie poster, Calendar Girls; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Calendar Girls
They dropped everything for a good cause.

The first part of the film is the challenges of creating the calendar, and the rest is about the subsequent media storm and the repercussions in families.

Calendar Girls is an interesting, humorous, and well-written look at how we judge ageing, especially among women. It's about how we see ourselves and how we can celebrate our un-reconstructed selves in a world of scientific beauty potions and freshening-up surgery.

In the tradition of the best of British.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 9 Oct 2003
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Helen Mirren (2010, RED, Red 2, Arthur, Inkheart, National Treasure 2, The Queen, Raising Helen); Julie Walters (Harry Potter series)

Just the facts:

Title: Calendar Girls (2003)
Written by: Tim Firth & Juliette Towhidi
Directed by: Nigel Cole
running time: 108 mins
rating: PG

The Players: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton, Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie, Ciarán Hinds,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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