Stars: Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton, Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 108 minutes
In the sensible yet elegant hands of actresses Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, Calendar Girls walks a fine line between sappiness and snickering and ends up both wonderfully funny and gently touching. When her best friend Annie (Walters, Billy Elliot) loses her husband, Chris (Mirren, Prime Suspect, Gosford Park) cooks up a scheme to memorialize him: They and their friends--all fiftysomething women--will make a nude calendar to raise money for the hospital where he died. The calendar becomes hugely popular, but the success may drive a wedge between the two women's friendship. Based on an actual event, Calendar Girls carefully balances the stories of several women as it follows the calendar's media explosion, becoming a surprisingly moving fable of loss, determination, and the perils of fame. And let's face it--Helen Mirren is one of the wittiest and sexiest women alive, clothes on or not. --Bret Fetzer
It *should* be bloody George Clooney. I mean, come the toss between Burnsall Church and George Clooney, I know which I'd rather wake up looking at.
It is a Norman church, you know.
I'm not disputing the loveliness of the church, John. It's the firmness of the buttocks I'm worried about.
A while ago I asked John Clarke to give us a talk here at Knapely WI. Annie asked me to read it to you here tonight, and this is what he wrote: "The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is always the most glorious. Then very quickly they all go to seed."
"Which makes it ironic my favourite flower isn't even indigenous to the British Isles, let alone Yorkshire. I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life."
I'm about to commit heresy. Look, I hate plum jam.
I only joined the WI to make my mother happy. I do, I hate plum jam. I'm crap at cakes, I can't make sponge. In fact, seeing as it's unlikely that George Clooney would actually come to Skipton to do a talk on what it was like to be in "ER", there seems very little reason for me to actually stay in the WI. Except suddenly... suddenly I want to raise money in memory of a man I loved, and to do that I'm prepared to take me clothes off for a WI calendar, and if you can't give us ten minutes of your time, Madam Chairman, well then, frankly, guys, I'm going to do it without council approval. Because there are some things that are more important than council approval. And if it means that we get closer to killing off this shitty, cheating, sly, conniving bloody disease that cancer is, oh God, I tell you, I'd run round Skipton market naked, smeared in plum jam, wearing nothing but a knitted tea cosy on me head and singing "Jerusalem".