Dan Stevens plays crime writer Charles Condomine, who has been creatively blocked since the death of his first wife Elvira (Leslie Mann) seven years before, and now tensely remarried to the more uptight Ruth (Isla Fisher). He has the idea of putting a spiritualist into the new movie screenplay he’s working on, and invites a notorious stage medium, Madame Arcati (Judi Dench), to his house to perform a seance, so that he can do some research into the wiles of these confidence tricksters. But, to his astonishment (and Madame Arcati’s), the seance brings back the ghost of Elvira, who wreaks havoc. Despite the heavyweight cast, the film’s production values are those of a kids’ TV show that might go out on a weekday afternoon. Dench does her best with the role of Madame Arcati, and she even has a notably surreal moment, carrying out an occult ceremony in a beachside cave. But the rest is a festival of mugging and farcical overacting, and the Cowardian style seems brittle without any snap.
Dan Stevens as Charles Condomine
Isla Fisher as Ruth Condomine
Judi Dench as Madame Arcati
Leslie Mann as Elvira Condomine
Julian Rhind-Tutt as Dr. George Bradman
Emilia Fox as Violet Bradman
Dave Johns as Howard
James Fleet as Harry Price
Adil Ray as Mandeep Singh
Michele Dotrice as Edna
Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Edith
Delroy Atkinson as Reverend Green
Stella Stocker as Greta Garbo
Jaymes Sygrove as Clark Gable
Charlie Carter as Newspaper seller
Blithe Spirit is a 2020 British comedy film directed by Edward Hall and starring Dan Stevens, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher, Judi Dench, Emilia Fox, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Adil Ray, Michele Dotrice, and Aimee-Ffion Edwards. The film is based upon the 1941 play of the same name by Noël Coward, adapted for the screen by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard, and Piers Ashworth.
Blithe Spirit had its world premiere at the 2020 Mill Valley Film Festival, and was released in the United Kingdom on 15 January 2021. The film received generally negative reviews from critics.