The English town of Knapely, Yorkshire, has a rather boring Women’s Institute where women tend to talk about baking and other dull subjects. When John (Alderton), Annie’s (Walters) husband, dies from cancer, her friend Chris (Mirren) decides to get money together with a fund raiser to support the local hospital. While looking for a good idea, Chris suddenly realises that people tend to have a soft spot for nudity and she decides that putting pictures of herself and her fellow W.I. women on the yearly calendar might just bring in enough money to get a new couch for the waiting room at the hospital. Together with nine other women who have long passed the age of 50 she has tasteful pictures taken of them by the rather shy photographer. When the local responsible of the W.I. finally turns around and gives the “go” for the project, a press release is sent out to the world, telling about the calendar. This way the women hope to get enough attention to sell 500 copies of the calendar.
Nobody could have expected what happens next. Chris and her friends aswell as the rest of the o-so-quiet Knapely get overrun by journalists from all over the country and within days all calendars are sold out and they have to get more printed to be able to cope with the demand. Things get even more out of hand when they get invited to Hollywood to make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Meanwhile, the women’s lives themselves aren’t going as they had in mind. Chris sees her family drifting away from her, Annie is grieving over the death of her husband and Ruth finds out that her man is having an affair.
Sound and Vision:
The only major downpoint in this movie is the layer change which is quite obvious. For the rest there’s only some minor artefacts but overal we get good image quality with decent contrast, nice sharp picture with lots of detail.
The dialogues are crystal clear and we must say that a 5.1 track with 448K bitrate is a bit over the top for a movie like this which stands on dialogues rather than special effects. Still, everything is mixed together nicely and the surround channels give a little extra to the atmosphere. Good stuff.
Buena Vista is getting the habbit in showing trailers of other movies before going to the menu and this is getting irritating. There’s two documentaries, one where the ladies themselves get to say a bit about the calendar and how their life was shown in the picture, what’s real and what’s not, etc… Next up is “Creating The Calendar”, a short featurette where the photographer (real and movie one) and some of the actresses get to talk about the calendar. Last up are four deleted scenes
Calendar Girls is a movie that doesn’t bulge with special effects but stands by a true story of a couple of women that wanted to do good and got known all over the world by doing something one would hardly ever expect from them: posing nude for a calendar. The storyline is good, the acting terrific and the transfer more than adequate. If you’re looking for a decent movie (and not a slapstick comedy) without extra fuzz, then this is definitely something you should keep your eye on