Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. A true gem: perhaps the most thoroughly charming, and completely satisfying, independent film I've seen in the past two or three years.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's an altogether satisfying drama -- the sort of movie some people complain they don't make anymore. So here it is; what's your excuse?
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Directed with charming restraint by the acclaimed American producer Dan Ireland, the film is a quiet triumph for Dame Joan.
  4. Plowright's performance as a genteel widow in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is a small-scale gem, deeply felt without being in the least bit showy.
  5. The details are what matters, and thanks to a cast of all-star British elders and a mischievous sense of humor, the filmmakers bring those details to vivid life.
  6. 75
    Newcomer Friend, a Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike who can also be seen in small roles in "The Libertine" and "Pride & Prejudice," has a winning manner, but Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is a terrific, long-overdue vehicle for Lady Olivier.
  7. The movie pulls off the trick of blurring the distinctions between romantic and platonic attractions across the generations.
  8. 75
    The movie is a delight, in ways both expected and rare.
  9. The casting, at least, is magical. Plowright shows both her character's strength and her heartbreaking vulnerability, sometimes at once.
  10. 70
    This earnest, well-observed weepy has more depth than its genteel trappings might imply.
  11. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    A low-key drama with comedic undertones that will appeal to older auds, arthouse patrons, and Joan Plowright fans.
  12. It's all expectable, it's all enjoyable: British theatrical professionalism at the highest pitch.
  13. 70
    Occasionally cloying, but the distinguished British cast (Anna Massey, Robert Lang, Georgina Hale, Millicent Martin) generates considerable gravitas.
  14. The unabashedly sentimental film is a juicy morsel for the great British actress Dame Joan Plowright, who endows Mrs. Palfrey with stoic charm and decency.
  15. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    Watching these old pros elbow their way into the spotlight is the film’s finest surprise, but watching Plowright out-act them all is the ultimate joy.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    In its well-mannered way, this genteel film delicately keeps its platonic May-December love story from turning creepy. But without the sexual undertones and macabre humor of Hal Ashby's classic, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is merely a soft, slightly patronizing movie about the poignancy of aging.
  17. As it is, Mrs. Palfrey seems to suggest the Claremont is located somewhere in the Twilight Zone. Where are the televisions? Where are the chain stores? Where are the immigrants? I see the buildings, but where is England?
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    The cast manages some sweet moments, and Plowright lends a touch of grace and wit to each new indignity or kindness. Yet the whole thing feels programmed; the movie's sense of humor lacks understatement.
  19. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    While the compelling Plowright competently flexes her well-trained muscle, the film's melodrama too readily evokes a Lifetime Original Movie rather than subtle sentiment.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. BarbaraB.
    Sep 30, 2007
    Superb acting and lovely story. It just warms your heart.
  2. ScoutW.
    Sep 12, 2007
    I have always admired Joan Plowright, but this film sealed it -- she is truly amazing. Her performance brought tears to my eyes and an ache I have always admired Joan Plowright, but this film sealed it -- she is truly amazing. Her performance brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my chest. Rupert Friend was also superb as her kind, senstiive and creative young friend. What a movie--best I've seen in a long while. Full Review »
  3. JJ
    Jul 21, 2007
    Poignant story of the beauty of human connections. Joan Plowright, as always, gave a superb performance.