The film is set in Cornwall in 1936. It is a warm and nostalgic story about two elderly Widdington sisters, Ursula (Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith), living peacefully in a small village at the seaside. One day they find a castaway on the beach, who turns out to be a Polish emigrant and a gifted violin player. The sisters show a great affection towards him. While in Janet's case it could be called a rather motherly feeling, Ursula falls in love with him like a teenage girl, probably for the first time in her life. A young painter, Olga Danilof, a famous violinist's sister, spends her summer holidays in their village and becomes very interested in the man and his talent. Andrea stands before an opportunity of making an international career.