Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls

4.6 8
Director: Nigel Cole, Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton

Cast: Nigel Cole, Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton

     
 

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Nigel Cole directs the feel-good comedy Calendar Girls, based on the true story of a group of working-class British housewives who became overnight celebrities by posing for a nude calendar in order to raise more than 500-thousand pounds for a new leukemia unit. The film follows the adventures of best friends Chris Harper (Helen Mirren) and Annie Clarke (Julie

Overview

Nigel Cole directs the feel-good comedy Calendar Girls, based on the true story of a group of working-class British housewives who became overnight celebrities by posing for a nude calendar in order to raise more than 500-thousand pounds for a new leukemia unit. The film follows the adventures of best friends Chris Harper (Helen Mirren) and Annie Clarke (Julie Walters), both members of the charitable Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire. After Annie's husband John (John Alderton) succumbs to leukemia, the friends are motivated to take some action. They convince the group to craft a tastefully nude calendar featuring the usual ladies' activities of gardening and baking, as photographed by the young amateur Lawrence (Philip Glenister). Despite the disapproval of the Institute's leader Marie (Geraldine James), the calendar quickly becomes a best-seller and leads the group to Hollywood. Ciaran Hinds appears as Chris' husband Rod Harper.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Based on a real-life situation that made headlines worldwide (a development that is incorporated into the story), Calendar Girls is equal parts drama and comedy, woven seamlessly into a narrative fabric carefully stitched together by director Nigel Cole. It begins in a small English village where women while away their spare hours in a ladies club where floral arrangements and baking contests are the principal activities. When the husband of a well-liked member (Julie Walters) succumbs to cancer, her best friend (Helen Mirren) proposes a more worthy project: raising money to finance a cancer-care wing in the local hospital. Somewhat improbably, the middle-aged women decide to do this by selling calendars adorned with semi-nude pictures of themselves. Yes, this really happened, and Cole depicts the process in hilariously excruciating detail. He shows us that the ladies each have something to prove, if only to themselves; one initially reticent participant poses just to get back at her unfaithful husband, another to vindicate her supposedly unseemly interest in sexuality. The calendar's notoriety goes beyond the shores of Mother England, and a large chunk of the narrative is devoted to the ladies' whirlwind trip to Hollywood, their subsequent appearances on TV, and their overnight celebrity. The consequences of sudden fame, including bloated egos and unwelcome intrusions by strangers, conspire to unravel this close-knit group, and Cole and his uniformly excellent cast believably depict the inevitable personality conflicts. Ciaran Hinds is especially strong as Mirren's patient but increasingly exasperated husband. Like The Full Monty, to which it’s inevitably compared, Calendar Girls is a perfectly unassuming and delightful comedy.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
A femme Full Monty (1997), Calendar Girls (2003) mines humor and charm out of the true story of older British women doffing their clothes for charity, despite reverting to perilously trite melodrama in its clumsy second half. Mercifully restrained in portraying the critical illness that provokes these Yorkshire ladies to shake up their comically dull women's club, Calendar Girls lightly builds to the moment of truth, as Helen Mirren's ballsy Chris and Julie Walters' widow Annie corral their friends for the calendar photo shoot that hilariously redefines the meaning of "cheesecake." Once the curse of fame sets in, though, the girls' predictable interpersonal crises and fateful trip to Hollywood sap the energy out of the film, leaving only the performances to save it. Sly, funny, and passionate, Mirren not only turns Chris into a complex blend of ego and sass, but also proves once again that hotness doesn't end at age 40; Walters' low-key strength makes Annie's grief palpable without becoming maudlin. The stellar supporting cast, including Celia Imrie, Annette Crosbie, and Penelope Wilton, deftly shows the fun in throwing modesty (and bras) to the wind. Even with its dramatic weaknesses, Calendar Girls remains enough of a delight for giving so many superb actresses witty, multi-layered roles.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/2004
UPC:
0786936228366
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Helen Mirren Chris Harper; AKA Miss October
Julie Walters Annie Clarke; AKA Miss February
John Alderton John Clarke
Linda Bassett Cora
Annette Crosbie Jessie
Philip Glenister Lawrence
Ciarán Hinds Rod Harper
Celia Imrie Celia
Geraldine James Marie
Penelope Wilton Ruth
George Costigan Eddie
Graham Crowden Richard
John Fortune Frank
Georgie Glen Actor
Angela Curran Actor
Rosalind March Actor
John-Paul Macleod Actor
Marc Pickering Actor
John Sharian Actor
Craig Kirkwood Bellboy

Technical Credits
Nigel Cole Director
Nick Barton Producer
Jackie Burch Casting
Tim Cavagin Sound/Sound Designer
Martin Childs Production Designer
Steve Clark-Hall Co-producer
Patrick Doyle Score Composer
Tim Firth Screenwriter
Tim Fraser Sound/Sound Designer
Liz Gallagher Musical Direction/Supervision
Suzanne Mackie Producer
Michael Parker Editor
Mark Raggett Art Director
Ashley Rowe Cinematographer
Deborah Saban Asst. Director
Steve Single Sound/Sound Designer
Gail Stevens Casting
Frances Tempest Costumes/Costume Designer
Juliette Towhidi Screenwriter

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Calendar Girls 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i saw this movie at a sleepover, i liked it alot. except i missed the end b/c we were watching at 3am, so i fell alseep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saw this movie at a sneak preview as I could not wait for it to be released. Wonderful & awesome feel good movie. I bought the 2004 calendar and was anxious for the movie's release on DVD. Fabulous acting by all of the ladies. Get this movie & watch it with your mom !!
mehitabelPA More than 1 year ago
Calendar Girls is a true delight, made even better by the fact that it is based on a true life story. The filming of the English countryside alone is worth the viewing. Add to that the powerful acting talent of all of the featured actors and a story that illuminates the highs and lows of friendship. The movie especially highlights the joy that can be realized when people just stick around and learn how to forgive and how to allow one another to grow each in their own time. I recommend this movie to anyone of any age. I also look forward to watching it many more times. I have already watched it twice and plan to order more as gifts.
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