MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 527 this week

The Portrait of a Lady (1996)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  17 January 1997 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 8,129 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 64 user | 55 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Mar 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 05 Mar 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Portrait of a Lady (1996)

The Portrait of a Lady (1996) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Portrait of a Lady.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Metroland (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Philip Saville
Stars: Christian Bale, Lee Ross, Emily Watson
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jeremy Thomas
Stars: John Hurt, Christian Bale, Daniel Benzali
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Christopher Hampton
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Patricia Arquette, Gérard Depardieu
Royal Deceit (1994)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Gabriel Axel
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale
Swing Kids (1993)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Thomas Carter
Stars: Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lovers lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and... love.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
Laurel Canyon (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When an uptight young man and his fiancee move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Stars: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale
Sweetie (1989)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Geneviève Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos
Little Women (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst
Flirting (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman
A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junion master's wife at... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Catherine Zago ...
Mother Superior
Alessandra Vanzi ...
Nun #2
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature sensuality and some brief nudity | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retrato de una dama  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$134,805 (USA) (27 December 1996)

Gross:

£575,908 (UK) (14 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph Fiennes was offered the role of Ralph, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

(at around 47 mins) A horse carriage is passing through the shot from right to left. The crew with dolly-cam and equipment is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Isabel Archer: My cousin. He's dying. I must go to him.
Gilbert Osmond: Your cousin was dying when we married. He'll outlive us all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In loving memory of J.E.C. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: Portrait of a Lady Alexander (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Impromptu in G Flat Major, Op 90 No. 3, D899
(1828)
Composed by Franz Schubert
Adapted for screen by Brian Lock
Performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet (as Jean Yves Thibaudet)
Courtesy of Decca Records Company Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Incomplete Portrait
31 May 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I vacillate between preferring films that do a simple thing extremely well (Muppet Movie) or those that shoot high and fail. This film is the latter.

Campion has allied her aspirations with `women's' perspectives; honorable and rich enough. And she selects material ripe with possibilities. Clearly she has a vision, presumably extracted from the author's, but she fails to get on top of it.

Part of the problem is the simplification of the book for the screenplay. We just don't get enough foundation for the travesty of person we witness. A large part of the problem is Ms Kidman. She simply doesn't have the depth to pull this off, though she wears the clothes well. We never really see her supposed extraordinary spirit, and never really see how she's trapped by that very same spirit. Malkovich doesn't help. Here, he's too one-dimensionally a schemer.

Campion knows better than to throw in so many irrelevant film-school angles as a substitute for narrative reflection. This film is worth seeing as a study in how a spirited film maker is seduced by that very spirit into the superficialities of style, so is trapped. The ambiguous ending is, I think, Campion's limbo. Let's hope she escapes for her sake as well as ours. We need that spirit.


16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nicole's accent: what is the deal? suze-4
Hated it dontpanik
Christian Bale ericajv12
Someone explain please.... finch6789@aol.com
The ending and the fainting ariadreamer
Question about Pansy mouse__07
Discuss The Portrait of a Lady (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?