Lady Vanishes (2013)
Set in the 1930’s, this film is one of the most fun British mysteries
I’ve encountered since discovering Miss Marple. After a long-standing
tradition of seeing “bonnet” costume dramas from BBC, it’s a nice
change to indulge in the sassiness of this era. Whether you’re a fan of this
time period or just classy
mystery, you’ll want to see this cute little British film.
Reviewer: Rissi C.
Travelling through Europe by train, Iris Carr (Tuppence Middleton) is
accompanied by a group of her ner-do-well so-called friends. They are
all currently staying at a quaint hotel shared with a host of fellow guests, including the quiet
Reverend Barnes and his wife (Pip Torres, Sandy McDade), a mysterious
couple (Julian Rhind-Tutt, Keeley Hawes) who keep to themselves, and the
prudish travelling companions sisters Rose and Evelyn Floodporter (Gemma
Jones, Stephanie Cole). After an unpleasant confrontation, Iris decides
she’s had enough of her friends and elects to remain behind while her
party continues on their merry way. After a fall, Iris decides she’s
better served travelling with a group and decides to re-join her party.
She barely manages to secure a ticket and boards the train only to find that each of the hotel guests
is on board.
Iris is soon befriended by a kindly Englishwoman woman named Miss Froy (Selina
Cadell), but wakes from sleep to find her companion missing –
and no one on the train admits to having ever met the woman.
Iris frantically searches for her friend along with the assistance of a
university student named Max (Tom Hughes) and his professor (Alex
Jennings). Where has Miss Froy gone or is Iris simply crazy?
Costume dramas are always in high demand and no one does it better than
filmmakers across the pond. This movie is actually very good and in my
opinion was over far
too soon! It begins by introducing us to a heroine who
is anything but – she’s a selfish, spoiled young woman who really doesn’t know what it means to be
a good person (her friends are users and she has no family). Then, she's
put into a situation that forces her to look beyond
her own comforts, and everything changes. I instantly loved her spunk and of
course, eventually when the mystery gets rolling, I was sold on this
Hitchcock-esque style of story-telling.
Featuring a familiar array of British talent (everyone from Lark Rise to Candleford to
Jane Eyre pops up), Middleton turns in an impressive
performance as the (“newbie”) leading lady. There’s a dash of romance
to lighten the mood of a script that does get a dark on occasion. Anyone who isn’t fond of an ambiguous ending should
probably skip over this, but I actually
loved the ending. It was entertaining, upbeat and full of
promise. That’s good enough for me. Naturally, the costumes are stylish
and pretty, as are the countryside scenes, which I suppose bookends the
story because the film is confined to a train. The odd
moments and a back-and-forth question wavering between sanity and
insanity means this may not be a film for everyone, however if you’re a
British film aficionado, you’ll likely enjoy this remake.
An extra-marital affair rumor and perhaps a minor innuendo
(a women accuses a girl of flirting with/sleeping with her
A woman is assaulted and
taken against her will, while drugged and another is
hidden away, tied up.