The Winter Guest

Watch The Winter Guest

"Come In From The Cold"
  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 6.8  (3,725)

The Winter Guest is a 1997 British film starring Phyllida Law, Emma Thompson, and Sheila Reid. The movie is set in a small Scottish coastal town, where two pairs of women, a mother and daughter, and an old-timer and her daughter, experience various challenges and epiphanies during a winter day. The story begins as Frances (Emma Thompson) visits her mother Elspeth (Phyllida Law) following her father's death. The two characters are struggling to deal with their grief, and their attempts to connect and communicate with each other often fall flat. Meanwhile, Elspeth's old friend Stage (Sheila Reid) and her daughter Lydia (Sandra Voe) are also in town, and they are dealing with their own problems.

The Winter Guest is a character-driven film, and the narrative mostly focuses on Frances and Elspeth. The mother-daughter duo are both talented actresses, and their performances are nuanced and authentic. Frances is a struggling playwright, and her bitterness and cynicism often clash with Elspeth's sunny disposition. Elspeth, on the other hand, is a retired teacher, who feels that her life has lost its meaning following her husband's death. She is also haunted by the memories of her son and Frances's brother, who died at a young age.

The Winter Guest is a poignant exploration of grief, loss, and human connection, and the film's themes are conveyed through a series of conversations and encounters. Frances and Elspeth's interactions are often tense and awkward, but they also have moments of tenderness and understanding. At one point, Frances tells her mother that she has a dream in which she sees her brother, but she cannot touch him. Elspeth replies that she also had a dream where she saw her husband, but he was "just out of reach". This exchange is a powerful metaphor for the characters' emotional state, and it highlights the film's underlying theme of how we cope with loss.

The Winter Guest also explores the idea of generational differences and the passage of time. Elspeth and Stage are both elderly women, who have lived a long and eventful life. They often reminisce about their youth, and Stage tells Frances a story about her first love, and how she decided to marry someone else. This subplot adds depth to the film's portrayal of the town, and it creates a sense of nostalgia and longing that permeates the narrative.

The Winter Guest is also a visually stunning film, with gorgeous shots of the Scottish countryside and the bleak winter landscape. The film's cinematography conveys the film's mood and atmosphere, and it underscores the characters' feelings of isolation and melancholy. The film's soundtrack is also notable, with a haunting score by composer Michael Kamen and a few memorable songs by Joni Mitchell.

In conclusion, The Winter Guest is a masterful and poignant film, which offers a delicate and evocative depiction of grief, loss, and human connection. The film's cast is exceptional, and their performances are subtle and affecting. The film's themes are complex and nuanced, and they resonate with the viewer long after the film ends. The Winter Guest is a hidden gem, and it deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

The Winter Guest is a 1997 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

The Winter Guest
Where to Watch The Winter Guest
The Winter Guest is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Winter Guest for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (3,725)