Overlooking the quaint Irish village of Kilshannon in the 1920s are a group of houses owned by the town's well-to-do widows. Mrs. Doyle Counihan (Joan Plowright) is king, or shall we say, queen of the hill. She keeps tabs on everything that happens and determines the destiny of those who break the moral codes of the community. The only man who lives on "Widows' Peak" is her weak-willed son Godfrey (Adrian Dunbar).

The latest gossip among the women is the blooming relationship between Miss O'Hare (Mia Farrow), a poverty-stricken spinster who raises roses, and the local dentist (Jim Broadbent). However, even the spicy conversation about them is quelled when a drop-dead gorgeous war widow, Edwina Broome (Natasha Richardson), purchases a home in town. Tongues start wagging when she wins the affections of Godfrey and immediately gets into a feud with Miss O'Hare.

Widows' Peak is amiably propelled by three delicious performances by Joan Plowright as the domineering queen on the hill, Mia Farrow as the stubborn Miss O'Hare, and Natasha Richardson as the attention-getting newcomer. John Irvin (Turtle Diary) directs from a screenplay by Hugh Leonard (Da). The film deals with those who enforce the rigid standards of small-town life and those who fiercely hold to their own sense of right and wrong. When members of these two groups clash, as they do in Widows' Peak, the fallout is devastating. This diverting and well-acted English film has just the right mix of comedy and mystery.