Featuring one of Maggie Smith’s lesser known roles, this movie is a quiet gem. The well-reviewed film tells the story of an anxious, lonely spinster Judith Hearne who lives in red-brick north Dublin and falls for the otherwise-motivated Irish-American returnee James Madden (Bob Hoskins). Some even say it subtly tops her Oscar-winning performance as a prim teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Her tone is perfect and she rarely, if ever, slips up. Indeed, movie accents are often put to the test in emotional scenes, but when she sobs, telling Madden she had hoped he was her mister right, that she had been “praying for it, hoping” because “a woman never gives up her hopes,” she sounds so believable that we don’t really hear her accent, we just feel her pain.