Fred Schepisi (shown at right), who has given us The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, the splendid film version of Six Degrees of Separation and the brilliant Last Orders, and the actress/screenwriter Judy Morris (below, left),
Charlotte Rampling (above) as the powerful woman in charge of things. This is the largest role and most central character that Ms Rampling has taken on in some time (she is more often seen in supporting parts), and she fills it out impressively. Always a subtle but commanding actress, one who often looks as if she is withholding something, she is well cast here as an aging woman unused to giving up any portion of the power she possesses.
Geoffrey Rush (above) and Judy Davis (below) are simply as good as it gets. As an actor who's had some success in Britain ("until your Macbeth," as mom is quick to point out), he captures the actor's ego, jealousy and ability to "act" any way at any given moment. And he still manages to remain human and, god, so very needy.
Judy Garland or Sybylla Melvyn, playing a smart 'n sleazy Presidential aide or a delightfully overwrought tourist in Barcelona. A much more accomplished and versatile actress than Rampling, here she uses her arsenal of subtle changes and minute expressions to convey the hurt and pain her mother has always inflicted, even now, as the woman is dying. Little wonder this daughter has not -- and never will -- grow up.
Alexandra Schepisi (above, left), the director's daughter, who plays the most important of the nurses caring for the Rampling character and who sets the "class" theme in play, falling as she does for the family son, who uses her just as it appears he uses everyone and everything.
Helen Morse, dancing above, gives a sad, frightened performance that sticks with you.
John Gaden (above, left) delivers a performance of quiet rectitude and trust. His character, above all, is full of surprise -- and buried life.
Marigold Hotel or the springing hope), The Eye of the Storm, from Sycamore Entertainment Group and Paper Bark Films, opens this Friday, September 7, in New York (Lincoln Plaza Cinema and Cinema Village), in the Los Angeles area (Laemmle Playhouse 7, Music Hall 3 and Fallbrook 7) and at the Rialto Theater in The Villages, Florida. Simultaneously, it will be available for viewing nationwide via VOD. Check your TV-reception provider for details.