An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.
The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after ten years absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.
London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent ... See full summary »
Bobby Platt is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange old man who ... See full summary »
This re-telling of Hamlet goes back to the original Danish source material. The opening scenario remains the same: Hamlet's father murdered by his brother who then weds the widowed mother. ... See full summary »
Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same ... See full summary »
While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »
In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education ... See full summary »
The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin ... See full summary »
Robert Sean Leonard,
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Isabel Archer, an American heiress and free thinker travels to Europe to find herself. She tactfully rebuffs the advances of Caspar Goodwood, another American who has followed her to England. Her cousin, Ralph Touchett, wise but sickly becomes a soulmate of sorts for her. She makes an unfortunate alliance with the creepy Madame Merle who leads her to make an even more unfortunate alliance with Gilbert Osmond, a smooth but cold collector of Objets' de art who seduces her with an intense but unattainable sexuality. Isabel marries Osmond only to realize she's just another piece of art for his collection and that Madame Merle and Osmond are lovers who had hatched a diabolical scheme to take Isabel's fortune. Isabel's only comfort is the innocent daughter of Osmond, Pansy, but even that friendship is spoiled when Countess Gemini, Osmond's sister, reveals the child's true parentage. Isabel finally breaks free of Osmond and returns to Ralph's bedside, where, while breathing his last, they ... Written by
Teresa B. <O'Donnell@worldnet.att.net>
The opening theme of "Portrait of a Lady" came to Wojciech Kilar when he was flying back to Poland from a meeting with director Jane Campion. Lacking manuscript paper he scribbled it on his boarding pass. See more »
When Isabel is attempting to retrieve her parasol from Mr. Osmond, all camera shots of her show the bow around her neck to her right. However, there is one camera shot that shows the bow to her left. See more »
Given the tenor of some of the other reviews posted here, I should start by making the extent of my disagreements clear.
First, this film is unquestionably Jane Campion's best work to date, and it represents, in particular, a significant advance beyond her previous work in The Piano.
Second, this film, while unapologetically feminist in point of view, in no sense attempts to shoehorn James's artistic vision into an ideological box for which it is unsuited. On the contrary, James has probably never been more sensitively interpreted on screen.
Third, purely as a film, The Portrait of a Lady belongs on a short shelf among the very best movies of the 1990's, of whatever genre.
Consider what Campion was up against: A literary adaptation, in the first place (itself almost a recipe for cinematic failure); a Henry James novel, in particular (a novelist who situated most of the "action" in his novels in the invisible social and psychological spaces between his characters, and whose works therefore constitute a kind of standing temptation to focus on picturesque/prestigious historical ambiance at the expense of narrative power); and a story, as James himself pointed out, centered on the seemingly quite confined topic of one very ordinary young woman's working out of her particular destiny.
Out of these distinctly unpromising materials, Ms. Campion created a film in which nearly every scene adds depth and color to her story, even after repeated viewings. And her Isabelle Archer (beautifully realized by Nicole Kidman, in possibly her finest performance to date) is as fully tested and tried by life's moral and epistemological ambiguities, and as fully responsive to life's promise, on film, as Henry James's heroine is, on the printed page. One could hardly ask for more.
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