One time actress Elfrida Phipps retires to a country cottage but is almost immediately reactivated through the personal tragedy of a comparatively new friend, Oscar Blundell, with whom she moves to an imposing old house, his shared inheritance, in Scotland. As Christmas approaches they are joined by a lovelorn cousin, Carrie, and her 14-year-old niece, Lucy, who is currently bothersome to the progress of her mother's new found love, and to her grandmother's hedonistic lifestyle. Sam Howard, troubleshooter in the textile industry, recently separated from his wife, arrives on the doorstep and finds himself unwittingly part of the soon-to-be snowbound family over Christmas. "Are you still snowed in with us, Sam? I hope so," says Edwina. "It would be such fun for all of us to be together." And so they all live happily ever after.
Lynn Redgrave, a good reader, voices the characters well but there's a recurrent smugness of expression that neutralises feelings of sympathy for this assortment who are destined by too many coincidences. A story without tension, the burdens of bereavement and finance and pleasures of romance and companionship are determined by unlikely turns of fate and the benefit of acquaintances who facilely solve the problems. --Running time 6 hours --Lyn Took [via]