Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

21 Oct

While I usually leave movie reviews to my friend and fellow blogger, Feminéma, I felt very compelled to review Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  This movie fits perfectly into the issues addressed by TSM — issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and social justice.

The tremendously talented ensemble cast make this movie an extraordinary treat, as they tackle aging, racism, marginalization, homophobia, and end of life issues. Tom Wilkinson is exceedingly convincing as a gay retired man returning to India to reconnect with the love of his life.  Wilkinson’s real life wife, Diana Hardcastle, plays the delightful easygoing Carol, who is eager to embrace her life. Former Absolutely Fabulous star, Celia Imrie, does an amazing job of a woman also wanting to reinvent herself, but also scared of what that might look like.

Another quite lovely and somewhat complicated story line is that of Penelope Wilton’s character, Jean and the demise of her marriage to Douglas, played by Bill Nighy (who was also brilliant in Love Actually). The story of Jean and Douglas is bittersweet and at times difficult to watch as they both wrestle with what they want their respective lives to look like during the autumn of their lives.  Penelope Wilton does a marvelous job of showing how many women of her age live fear based lives that can be paralyzing.  Juxtaposed with Jean, we have the recently widowed Evelyn, played by Judi Dench.  Evelyn is a picture of the complexities of a woman experiencing grief and at the same time living with great intentionality and pushing herself to forge a new life on her own terms. Rounding out the cast is the always marvelous Maggie Smith, whose racist character shows hidden depths as the bitterness of her first scene is explained and we get to watch her grow in ways that surprise even her.

In total, I found the movie to be inspirational and offers great hope.  There are times when it is nice to just watch a movie and leave feeling fueled.  I felt very nourished after watching this film, and extend an invitation to TSM readers to rent Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  

14 Responses to “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

  1. Lori Schmidt October 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Everyone, no matter gender or age should see this movie at least twice!

    Loved it!!! ; )

  2. James Queale October 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Tom and I have been planning to see it for a long time. We are going to rent it from RedBox soon. Thanks for a wonderful and thoughtful review.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      Jamie, I think y’all will love it! Robert and I rented it last night and that was the second time we saw it.

      • James Queale October 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

        Good! 🙂 We haven’t seen a new release that was good in a while.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

        Let me know what y’all think of it.

  3. Jim Smith October 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Great writeup Michael. Certainly an all-star cast. We’ll definitely track it down….Thanks…

  4. R L Pete Housman October 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Great review……Great cast and as good as they get movie…. Glad you enjoyed it too.

    On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM, The Solipsistic Me wrote:

    > ** > Michael Hulshof-Schmidt posted: “While I usually leave movie reviews to > my friend and fellow blogger, Feminma, I felt very compelled to > review Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This movie fits perfectly into the > issues addressed by TSM — issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and > s”

  5. Didion October 22, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Hey, thanks for the shout-out, friend! I haven’t seen it yet — have been buried under piles of student papers, and it’s not streaming on Netflix yet (my acid test for whether to see a film). But I’ll get on this ASAP…it sounds lovely.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 22, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Didion,
      Please do let me know what you think of the movie. I value your feedback. I hope the post sent a good bit of traffic your way. 🙂

  6. arena23 May 6, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    Sweet review! I like your style and tone 🙂

    Check out mine! http://moviereviewsdirect.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-british-indian-set-romance-2012-2/

    Cheers x

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