A Month by the Lake is a quiet, nuanced romance. The lake in question is Lake Como in northern Italy, in the year before the outbreak of WWII. The incomparable, still beautiful Vanessa Redgrave portrays Miss Bentley, whose family has holidayed at the villa for a generation. Veteran actor Edward Fox shows up as Major Wilshaw, and he immediately captures Ms. Bentley’s interest. At the same time, Uma Thurman makes her appearance as the much younger finishing school runaway, Miss Beaumont . The major and Miss Bentley have an on again, off again relationship, as the major does not enjoy being shown up on the tennis court. He does, however, enjoy the flirtations of Miss Beaumont, who is deeper than she seems.
Both women know well how to manipulate the psyche of the major, and it’s a delight to watch them play off each other; this romance, which is reminiscent of Enchanted April, is enchanting in its depiction of love the second or third time around. The scenery is gorgeous, the script is low key but effective, and this movie is perfect for a quiet evening at home with some candlelight, good wine, and cheese.