The Brit List: Summer of London – Movies

5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The cast of 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' (Rex Features via AP Images)

“How many recognizable British stars, senior division, can you cram into one movie?” asked Anglophenia columnist Leah Rozen in her Who’s Who guide to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Let’s see, there’s Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, and Celia Imrie, amongst others. If you were above a certain age and had been on Masterpiece Theater in some capacity within the past decade, you were likely in this movie.

We’ve seen other British ensemble films come and go, but few have popped at the box-office like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a dramedy about British retirees who retreat to a fading hotel in India and find themselves, of course, transformed by their shared experiences. In the midst of youth blockbusters like The Hunger Games and The Avengers, TBEMH has thrived as counter-programming for the types who usually stay home and watch Mad Men.

The film has steadily picked up an audience since its April release, gathering $25 million by June 1 and looking to be a Midnight in Paris-like indie crossover. “We continue to compete with the summer tentpole films even though our theater count is much lower,” a Fox Searchlight exec told Deadline.com. “In some cases these films had two or three times the number of locations that we have. Word of mouth has obviously been driving moviegoers to seek out Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

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Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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