The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

An ensemble of sterling performances highlights The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, an intelligent, carefully crafted adaptation of Brian Moore's well-regarded first novel. Film's centerpiece is Maggie Smith's exceptionally detailed portrait of the title character, a middle-aged Irish spinster who tragically deludes herself into imagining herself involved in a great romance.

With:
Maggie Smith Bob Hoskins Wendy Hiller Marie Kean Ian McNeice Prunella Scales

An ensemble of sterling performances highlights The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, an intelligent, carefully crafted adaptation of Brian Moore’s well-regarded first novel. Film’s centerpiece is Maggie Smith’s exceptionally detailed portrait of the title character, a middle-aged Irish spinster who tragically deludes herself into imagining herself involved in a great romance.

Judith is a fragile bird, a part-time piano teacher in 1950s Dublin who has every reason to be desperate about life but still manages to look on the bright side. Moving into a new boarding house, she takes a liking to her landlady’s brother James (Bob Hoskins), a widower recently returned from 30 years in New York, and begins stepping out with him.

Once James takes her to a fancy dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel, Judith is sure his intentions are serious. Unfortunately, she allows a misunderstanding between them to assume traumatic proportions, and her heartbreak and disappointment lead her down a spiraling road of despair, alcoholism, ostracism and religious rejection.

Hoskins, laying a brash New York accent over a hint of the Irish, brings great energy and creative bluster to the irrepressible dreamer who has been instilled with Yankee get-up-and-go.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

UK

Production: HandMade/United British Artists. Director Jack Clayton; Producer Peter Nelson, Richard Johnson; Screenplay Peter Nelson; Camera Peter Hannan; Editor Terry Rawlings; Music Georges Delerue; Art Director Michael Pickwoad

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Maggie Smith Bob Hoskins Wendy Hiller Marie Kean Ian McNeice Prunella Scales

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