The smashing Kate Beckinsale stars as Flora Poste, the sophisticated orphan who leaves a cushy berth with her rich London friend (Joanna Lumley) to live with uncouth relatives on a farm that would give D H Lawrence a shock in terms of rustic sin and animal urges.
The father (Ian McKellan) preaches hellfire, while the son Seth (Rufus Sewell) screws what’s handy and dreams of being a film star.
The mother (a superb performance from Eileen Atkins) relinquishes control of the dirty brood only to the matriarch Ada Doom (Sheila Burrell), who talks incessantly about seeing “something nasty in the woodshed”.
The fun comes in watching Flora do a Martha Stewart makeover on the farm and its resident freaks, giving director John Schlesinger a chance to tweak the lower, middle and upper classes with equal glee.
Mrs Mary Smiling