Review of 'Blithe Spirit'

blithe_spirit.jpg Author Charles Condomine (Dan Stevens) is suffering a severe case of writer's block, unable to put a single word to paper. Seeing a disastrous public appearance by spiritualist Madame Arcati (Judi Dench) his wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) and friends think it would be good fun to have Arcati perform a séance at their house. When the séance inadvertently summons the ghost of Condomine's deceased first wife Elvira (Leslie Mann) he gets more than he bargained for but, on the plus side, she cures him of his writer's block…

A silly old school comedy by master playwright Noël Coward, “Blithe Spirit” is a bit of fun with, of course, a bit of a sting in the tail. It is mostly a comedy of manners with Condomine suffering throughout from the fakery of Arcati. Ultimately there is some sort of redemption and happiness, of a sort, all round. The writing, as you might expect, is quite witty but not so much that viewers need to be terribly attentive.

The film looks good with it's immaculate sets and beautiful locations. Acting is perfectly serviceable with a standout Judi Dench perfectly capturing the simple opportunism of Madame Arcati and, frankly, steals the show with the rest of the characters resorting to more physical comedy than nuance of character. Leslie Mann's Elvira is initially an innocent that learns quickly to take advantage of the situation, conniving to have her husband join her in the afterlife.

Light hearted, simple silliness.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2023-06-24

Directed by: Edward Hall

Studio: Fred Films

Year: 2020

Length: 99 minutes

Genre: Comedy