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Blithe Spirit

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United Kingdom · 2020
Rated PG-13 · 1h 39m
Director Edward Hall
Starring Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher, Judi Dench
Genre Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A spiritualist medium holds a seance for a writer suffering from writers' block but accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife which leads to an increasingly complex love triangle with his current wife of five years.

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What are critics saying?


Empire by

This Blithe Spirit dilutes the original’s heady cocktail, serving up a sugary punch rather than a dry martini.


The A.V. Club by Caroline Siede

Hall has taken away the brittle wit of Coward’s source material and replaced it with little other than some fun performances in search of a better movie.


Variety by Guy Lodge

A tin-eared, lumpen-footed, almost perversely unfunny new spin on Noël Coward’s breezy 1940s farce.


Austin Chronicle by Jenny Nulf

Completely miscast with uninspired production, this remodeling of Blithe Spirit is a faint shadow of its Coward roots, a resurrected retired poltergeist without its same purpose or vigor.


Los Angeles Times by Katie Walsh

Any trenchant observations to be found in this Blithe Spirit only pop and fizz into thin air like Champagne bubbles. Though effervescent, it’s a bit too ethereal for its own good.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Despite the heavyweight cast, the film’s production values are those of a kids’ TV show that might go out on a weekday afternoon.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

The irresistible comic elegance of the premise – a remarried widower is tormented by the ghost of his first wife – is lost in a mass of pointless embellishments and tinkerings.


The Observer (UK) by Simran Hans

The impish Leslie Mann is well cast as his dead wife, Elvira, who provides a jolt of creative inspiration. Judi Dench’s screechy caricature of psychic Madame Arcati is less winning.


Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

Coward’s brand of urbane casual elitism is rather past its sell-by date. But the problems run deeper in this energetic but scattershot version of a property which might have been best left to rest in peace.

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