Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility) directed the real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson in mother-and-daughter roles for this film version of Sharman MacDonald's play (also directed by Rickman). With warmth and… More Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility) directed the real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson in mother-and-daughter roles for this film version of Sharman MacDonald's play (also directed by Rickman). With warmth and humor, it explores the relationship of cantankerous Elspeth (Law, in the role she originated on stage) and her recently widowed daughter, photographer Frances (Thompson). An uninvited winter guest, Death lurks in a small Scottish seacoast town where both confront loneliness. Frances wants to flee her memories by leaving for Australia with her teenage son Alex (Gary Hollywood), but then her mother arrives. Meanwhile, Alex cavorts on the frozen sea with a sexy teenage neighbor (Arlene Cockburn) who has had her eye on him for some time. Others in the coastal community include truant schoolboys Tom (Sean Biggerstaff) and Sam (Douglas Murphy) who discuss adolescent angst on the beach, and two crusty old ladies (Sandra Voe and Sheila Reid) spend their time attending the funerals of strangers. These individual stories have few overlaps in the screenplay by Rickman and Macdonald. Rickman was involved MacDonald's evolution as a writer. He first encountered her work (under the pseudonym Pearl Stewart) when he was employed as a play-reader, and later he introduced her to actress Lindsay Duncan (his co-star in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, whose sad and funny anecdotes about her mother served as an inspiration for the play. The Michael Kamen piano score was originally written for the stage play. Filmed in Scotland.