I finally got a chance to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I had been really looking forward to it, and I was not disappointed. It’s the story of a disparate group of elderly Brits, attempting to begin a better (read less expensive) retirement in India.

The beautiful old hotel in the brochure turns out to be a dilapidated relic that saw its better days most likely when they were born instead of in their golden
years. The story of its manager and the few inhabitants is lovely, poignant, and uplifting, with a hearty dose of humor. The dialogue is outstanding. The acting sublime.

Maggie Smith plays against the type we’ve become accustomed to. Quiet, unhappy for quite some time, and sporting an accent that reminded me of Angela Lansbury’s teapot in Beauty and the Beast, she charms her way into the viewer’s heart.

Judi Dench’s Evelyn is a new widow finding her way, with grit and an infectious sense of adventure. As the narrator through journal entries, she goes on a journey more personal than simply moving herself to an exotic, far off land.  Dench, as always, lights up the screen.

Tom Wilkinson gives a touching performance as Graham, a man both exhilarated and petrified by the prospect of finding a long lost love. He stirs great empathy as he searches, yearns, and finds more than he dared hope for.

Many more character pass across the screen over the course of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, including the hotel itself. There are laughter and tears, comraderie and conflict, beauty and squalor all side by side in a land that beckons to the adventurous and a movie that dares acceptance and love and dreams.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer Official