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The Portrait of a Lady (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 17 January 1997 (USA)
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)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lord Warburton
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Edward Rosier
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Caspar Goodwood
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Pansy Osmond
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Bob Bantling
Catherine Zago ...
Mother Superior
Alessandra Vanzi ...
Nun #2
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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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

17 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retrato de una dama  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,805, 29 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,692,836, 24 February 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to the release of the film, Nicole Kidman was invited to Prague by director Jane Campion to a live performance of the score for the film. The seance brought her to tears. 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

Ralph Touchett: And remember this, that if you've been hated, you're also been loved.
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Crazy Credits

In loving memory of J.E.C. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cruise on Kubrick (1999) 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.
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User Reviews

 
Overwhelming!
4 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

I did not really like the movie, at first. Nice, okay, but that was all, I thought.. Meanwhile I read the novel, watched the film again and again... And I love it more and more! Okay, NOTHING compares to "The Piano", but it's simply stunning.

Jane Campion (what a director!) tells the fascinating story of Isabel in unforgettable pictures and very true to the original novel of Henry James. Nicole Kidman is just made to play the main-character and the whole cast is without exception astonishing and powerful.

Kilar's musical score... A dream! Ardent, subtle themes, flowing and catchy. But not only that: The film succeeded in picking out the two most beautiful Piano-Pieces Franz Schubert ever composed; and melts story, pictures and music perfectly together.

To all the people who don't like or even hate "The Portrait of a Lady": I'd like to point out, it is a masterpiece! Point.

Watch it in a rainy afternoon, listen closely to the music and check out the - without a doubt - most beautiful ending of film-history!

Thank you.


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