Calendar Girls

  • 12
  • Nigel Cole (2003)
  • UK / US
  • 103 min
Calendar Girls
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Comparisons were made between this true story of the world-famous Women's Institute nude calendar and The Full Monty. Though both revolve around a group of ordinary folk reluctantly taking their clothes off (and both made money in America), Nigel Cole's film is actually less broad in its comedy and much gentler in tone. It is the very genteel nature of the North Yorkshire WI milieu that provides the film with its "high concept" (middle-aged women strip for charity). While the pivotal shooting of the calendar itself provides comic gold (during which the spare-part husbands gather in the pub like expectant fathers - a lovely touch), there is a moving, fallible humanity to the performances that keeps the whole thing the right side of farce. Julie Walters, Helen Mirren and Linda Bassett shine in a spotless cast of "ladies of a certain age" and, though a climactic trip to America creates an unnecessarily showy finale, this is prime British fare - not to mention a rare celebration of flesh untouched by cosmetic surgery.

Plot Summary

Comedy drama based on a true story, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. Chris and Annie are best friends and members of the local Women's Institute in Knapely, Yorkshire. When Annie's husband dies from leukaemia, Chris suggests they and their fellow WI colleagues raise money for the local hospital by posing nude for a calendar. The media interest that follows leads to the project becoming a worldwide sensation.

Cast and crew

Cast

Chris
Helen Mirren
Annie
Julie Walters
Ruth
Penelope Wilton
Jessie
Annette Crosbie
Celia
Celia Imrie
Cora
Linda Bassett
Kathy
Georgie Glen
May
Angela Curran
Trudy
Rosalind March
Rod
Ciaran Hinds
John
John Alderton
Lawrence
Philip Glenister
Jem
John-Paul MacLeod
Marie
Geraldine James
Frank
John Fortune
Hotel manager
Matt Malloy
Jay Leno
Jay Leno

Crew

Director
Nigel Cole

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Buena Vista
Guidance: 
Some nudity.
Available on video and DVD
Released 5 Sep 2003
Certificate 12
Categories
Comedy
Drama