BARRY NORMAN:FILM OF THE DAY The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel★★★★ 9.00-11.25pm Film4
A romantic comedy for senior citizens, the film which, with its starry cast of much-loved veterans, lured wrinklies and crumblies back to the cinema. John Madden’s film, based on Deborah Moggach’s novel, follows the mixed adventures of a bunch of elderly Brits from different walks of life who, for various reasons mostly to do with restricted funds, have elected to spend their declining years in Jaipur as permanent residents of the eponymous hotel, run with more ambition than competence by Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire fame). How each of them adapts to these new circumstances and, in some cases, unexpected romance is very nicely portrayed. Ol Parker’s screenplay is sharp and funny but the cast is the main attraction — and what a cast. Practically every British actor with a bus pass is in there from Judi Dench, who acts as narrator, and Maggie Smith, as an acerbic retired nanny, to Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie and several more.
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