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Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 58
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 17

Bittersweet and endearing, this film about aging and unexpected friendship is a lovely vehicle for Joan Plowright.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 6

Bittersweet and endearing, this film about aging and unexpected friendship is a lovely vehicle for Joan Plowright.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,754

My Rating

Movie Info

The story centers around an elegant elderly lady who, after being recently widowed, moves from Scotland to London to be near to her 26 year old grandson, Desmond. When Desmond fails to return any of her several phone calls, or visit her at the resident hotel she is staying, fate brings her together with a young writer, Ludovic Meyer, after she has an accident outside his basement flat.


Drama, Comedy

Ruth Sacks

Dec 12, 2006

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All Critics (63) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (17) | DVD (2)

It's an altogether satisfying drama -- the sort of movie some people complain they don't make anymore.

June 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like the woman herself, Mrs. Palfry gets to you.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A small portrait of friendship and intergenerational connection, painted in delicate strokes and warm tones.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plowright, who has made something of a specialty of breathing life into stereotypically written older women for the past 20 years, makes the most of a rare opportunity to play someone still open to the surprises the world can bring.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just as teenagers enjoy escapist movies, so do the elderly. They simply prefer a gentler pace. What is touching about Mrs. Palfrey is that she is allowed to be elderly, and not turned into a hip-hop granny.

May 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The whole thing feels programmed; the movie's sense of humor lacks understatement. So does the movie's sense of pathos.

May 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's funny," Ireland notes. "The intellectual critics always like to give me a smack about being too weepy. But then the audiences that go see it seem to embrace it, which has been great.

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Bay Area Reporter
Bay Area Reporter

This underwhelming "prestige" production offers a few pleasures, but doesn't stay in the memory very long.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT is a rare treat, indeed, and a crowning achievement for Dame Joan Plowright.

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey and enjoy.

December 28, 2006 Full Review Source:

Despite the measured pace and the predictable bitter sweet mood, the film is only occasionally enchanting

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Never less than enjoyable. All credit must go to Plowright and Friend, who give completely charming performances.

September 22, 2006
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One of the season's most humane and heartening films.

September 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

You'd half expect the movie to throw caution to the wind and become "Grandmas Gone Wild," but the film is too prim to offer any surprises.

August 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

... an amiable, sweetly sentimental tale ...

August 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Unfortunately, the result is high melodrama, at once patronizing and predictable.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

...the film allows 76-year-old Plowright, for years a wonderful character actress in a wide variety of projects, something to call her own.

June 12, 2006 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is not a loud, fast-paced, over the top film, but one to be viewed with patience, anticipation and an open heart.

May 29, 2006 Full Review Source:

It's all sweet and well acted (and well enough directed by Dan Ireland), but it's also yawn-provoking and maddening that the script is so far below the acting ability of the assembled talent.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Ireland ... has in Friend and Plowright the exactly right actors to give friendship a glow of platonic soul romance.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Ireland, who made the brilliant, equally unfashionable The Whole Wide World, respects the kindness and concern his characters show each other.

May 4, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

joan plowright offers an excellent perfomance as usual
April 7, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A beautiful, quiet little film that definitely tugs at the heartstrings. Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend were marvelous as the unlikely friends who find joy and inspiration in each other's company. This viewer nearly wrote it off early on due to the overacting of the supporting cast, who populate the hotel. But once the main story got underway, this became a gem. Very moving tale as these two lonely people found joy and inspiration in sharing experiences and conversations.
July 2, 2013
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" is about the widowed Sarah Palfrey(Joan Plowright) who moves into the Claremont Hotel in London in order not to be a burden to her daughter and to have some independence in her life. The hotel is close to her grandson, Desmond, who works at the archives but after several weeks, he has not called her. While on the way back from mailing a letter, Sarah trips outside of the apartment of Ludovic Meyer(Rupert Friend), a writer and busker, who cares for her injuries. And she enlists him to pretend to be her grandson...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]While maybe not appearing to be much at first, "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" is somehow touching without being maudlin. Overall, it is about the marginalization of the elderly in society, especially when their younger relatives do not make time for them.(In response, the movie gives a broader definition of family.) In addition, Sarah is more than normally out of touch with the time she is living in.(When somebody loses a person in their life, they lose a part of themselves.) Which is why she and Ludovic connect so well, since he feels so disconnected to his own time, using a manual typewriter, which I thought was a nice touch, along with being a very polite and considerate young man. [/font]
July 14, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Plods through the paces with all the momentum of molasses.
November 7, 2006

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (UK)
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