Despite Delbert Mann's painstaking direction and the affability of the cast, LILY IN WINTER can't plug up the hemorrhaging of happenstance that proves terminal for its screenplay. Still, this sentimental trifle has what it takes to become a TV perennial for the Christmas season.
Transplanted from the south to Manhattan in the 1950s, Lily (Natalie Cole) works as a maid in the household of scenic designer Jim (Dwier Brown) and actress Donna (Cecil Hoffman). While blocking out emotional bruises from her own past, Lily develops maternal feelings for young Michael Towler
(Brian Bonsall), who is neglected by his workaholic parents. In hot water with loan sharks, Lily'...