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Set in a lovingly evoked Budapest in the run-up to Christmas, Lubitsch’s deliciously delicate comedy focuses on the various obstacles blocking the path of potential lovers James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, fellow workers in a gossip-ridden emporium who are unaware they’re in fact courting one another by mail in an anonymous correspondence.
The director’s fabled ‘touch’, here at its lightest, contributes to what is arguably Hollywood’s most exquisitely romantic depiction of the old central Europe. Perfect seasonal fare.