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At Any Age
Pat and I watched "Ladies in Lavender" last night. I knew nothing about the film, and as I watched the initial scenes of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith strolling down the beach and then returning to the home they shared, I was hopeful that it was a lesbian story I'd never heard of. Bonus, I thought. Turns out -- spoiler alert! -- they fall for a young stranger who comes into their lives, and who is male. (Pat and I fell for the young stranger who comes into *his* life, Natascha McElhone)...but I digress.
Judi Dench's character moved me most, how she flushed and pined for the young man -- actually, that reminds me of how she flushed and pined for Cate Blanchett two years later, in "Notes on a Scandal."
I loved both movies and they're worlds apart -- two spinster-sisters in the '30s in Cornwall vs. a lesbian in denial in London in this century, and both reminded me that desire is irrational -- is arational a word? -- and in the case of "Ladies in Lavender," love is a life-force bigger than any. As I sat there, watching -- another spoiler alert! -- Judi Dench's reaction to the young man's unexpected and sudden departure, I thought, I'm not in love with our cats, like she was with the boy, but that's how I would feel if either of them disappeared at this point. Love is powerful. Any type of love.