Page 16-The Michigan Daily- Friday, September 11, 1992
'April' a light delight
by Michael John Wilson
The art-house hit "Enchanted
April" treads on territory normally
reserved for Merchant/Ivory produc-
tions: a slow-moving, impeccably
acted, beautifully filmed period
piece set in the early part of this cen-
tury. Though this film is no
"Howards End," it captures that fa-
miliar, comfortable world so well
that it almost makes us forget how
thin it is.
Directed by Mike Newell; written by
Peter Barnes based on the novel by
Elizabeth von Arnim; with Josie
Lawrence and Joan Plowright
"April" tells the story of two
women (played by Josie Lawrence
and Miranda Richardson) who es-
cape their dreary, rainy lives in
London by renting a medieval Italian
castle for a month. There they meet
two aristocrats, one young (Polly
Walker), one old (Joan Plowright),
and in the idyllic Italian setting, ev-
eryone becomes happy.
To summarize the plot is to trivi-
alize the events that take place. But
like many similar films, the film's
enjoyment comes not from riveting
action sequences but from setting
and character. The movie presents
well-acted characters we enjoy get-
ting to know in a marvelously pho-
tographed setting (the very same lo-
cation where von Arnim wrote the
book in the early '20s). It's not just
an escape for the four women - it's
an escape for us as well.
Ultimately, the film is nothing
more than light. entertainment.
Mostly, what the two women escape
from is their irascible, neglectful
husbands. When the women feel
they must invite their men to share
in their happiness, it's a bit disap-
pointing, but still credible in the
context of '20s society. It's too
much, however, when the men
suddenly change their ways and be-
come nice guys.
At times everyone is just so joy-
ously, unbelievably happy that the
film reminds us that it's not realistic
drama, but featherweight fantasy.
It's still a trip worth taking, how-
ever, if only for the company and
Continued from page 13
forth his conjecture: "Probably.
evading landlords, moving."
In a bizarre synchronizing ofa
realities, Wood died on the same
date that Grey's legendary post-
no-wave free jazz outfit the Blue
Humans made their debut, on a
bill with DNA and Mars. Grey
had been collaborating with
Sumner Crane, the vocalist for
Mars, doing interviews for the
magazine "Vacation," and they
had been planning on tracking
down Wood for a story.
"Unfortunately we didn't
know what his condition was,"
Grey said. "We had no idea he
was in the state he was in." Ed
Wood died of a heart attack at the
age of 54 on Dec. 10, 1978. With
the publication of Rudolph
Grey's "Nightmare of Ecstasy,"
vindication will hopefully arrive
GLEN OR GLENDA is playing
tonight at 9:15 tonight in Angell
Hall Aud A. Call 769-7787 for
Miranda Richardson and Michael Kitchen enjoy a quiet moment in pastoral Italy in "Enchanted April."
R EM NANT
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4559 WASHTENAW AVENUE
ENCHANTED APRIL is playing
Briarwood and Showcase.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY.I
Bh 1ande re'
1113 South University, Ann Arbor
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Sept 14-18, 21-22
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