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Washington Square
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Reviews & Ratings for
Washington Square More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

not disappointing

Author: ( from United States
24 January 2002

This is not a disappointing film with a great cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sir Albert Finney (although he refused knighthood). Jennifer's shy awkward character is changed forever by a relationship with a poor distant man. The love story is quite romantic and tragic without giving the ending. It is truly a sad story and typical Henry James. The film was directed by Polish ex-patriat to Paris Agnieska Holland who directed Europa, Europa. The film is very visual with period costumes and outdoor architecture depicting the true Washington Square. Ironically, the author Henry James was an expatriate who travelled and wrote extensively about rich Americans whether in Europe or at home in America.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Top people not making it up to their potential!

Author: Dominik Kleebach ( from Surheim, Germany
6 November 1999

This is a decent movie directed by Agnieszka Holland, who made the beautiful 1993 version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden". It is remarkable that she succeeds to create the same calm tone for the movie. She shot some beautiful and peaceful pictures that reminded me of "The Secret Garden" in some way, though this is a completely different story.

Saying this I already scratched what became the problem of the movie for me. I watched it just because Agnieszka Holland directed it, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, one of my favorite actresses of all time, was in it, and not because I was interested in the story.

It's another story set around the beginning of this or in the last century, I don't really know. It's a love story, but also a character study of a young woman, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh. The role is way different from the things Jennifer did before; there is nothing of this hardness, dirtiness and squareness that usually inhabits her characters. She plays a very shy and not at all self-conscious young woman who depends on her father. She's sweet and stupid and on a superficial view the opposite of a Leigh-typical on-screen character. But then, such women who are more like little girls are one of Leigh's specialties. It's also not atypical that her character is a woman of whom people say she couldn't gain any man's attraction. And when she gets to know a man she gets very torn apart. It all turns into a long and entangled tale of bitterness, persistence, betrayal, overprotection, cruelty and, yes, also emancipation, and Leigh's efforts are without doubt worth approval, but the initial sweetness and dullness of her character is a bit disturbing (and I don't mean the good kind of disturbing) and the storyline is too epic.

A plus of the film is the (almost) incomparable Maggie Smith (a strong reminder of `The Secret Garden') who is an aunt, a housekeeper and a schemer. She gives us her share of an intriguing characterization and a funny storyline, but she's lost in the midst of a flawed movie. She's joined by the British acting veteran Albert Finney (who I, I have to admit, only have heard of by reputation) and the average newcomer Ben Chaplin. The film isn't bad and has its fair share of humor. Unfortunately, the humor is a bitter necessity to keep the viewer alive, because `Washington Square' will hardly keep you entertained for two hours. And despite of good acting by everyone, their acting is forgotten within a couple of hours. Rating: 6 out of 10

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