I have a fondess for films about seamstresses. “The War Bride” (2001), is a little known film about a plucky English War bride who marries and has a baby with a Canadian soldier and moves to his family’s farm in Alberta.
The story begins in London, where Lily (Anna Friel) working as a seamstress meets Charlie (Aden Young), a Canadian soldier who is about to enter into the fight. In short order they fall in love and marry. Then Lily has a baby and while Charlie is off fighting at the front.
Lily likes to keep her sense of style even while London is bombed out around her.
Lily, to escape the bombing and protect her daughter, travels to Canada to live with her new in-laws.
She meets her new mother-in-law, Betty (Brenda Fricker) & sister-in-law, Sylvia (Molly Parker) at the train station, and whoa! They are less than welcoming and don’t hide the fact that they are not pleased to see her. Here Lily and baby Lindy wear smart matching red hats while her in-laws wear a pair of dowdy brown coats.
She also finds that the sprawling homestead/estate Charlie exaggerated about is actually a barren farm without running water and miles away from the nearest town. Lily attempts to make the best of things but is met with hostility at every turn. Sylvia and the other women in town don’t much care for the way that glamorous and cosmopolitan Lily dresses. Sylvia is disabled and dresses very plain and dowdy until Lily breaks out the sewing machine and tries to prettify Sylvia.
Lily also tries to win over some of the local town’s womenfolk by sewing very pretty lingerie. I wish I had photos of the pieces Lily sewed up in what looks like peach rayon, which would have been very typical for its time. Lily’s courage and sense of humor carry her through all the ups and downs in the story which concludes with a happy-ish ending.
This is sweet, touching film just right for a rainy day. I saw it on Amazon.