An expatriated French novelist (Jeanne Moreau) returns to Paris when she learns that her childhood home is being placed on the auction block. What she doesn't count on is that she has to ... See full summary »
This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »
Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to ... See full summary »
An editor asks Deven, a teacher who loves Urdu poetry, to interview poet Nur Shahjehanabadi, an aging whale of a man. Deven goes to Bhopal from Mirpur to meet Nur, of whom he is in awe. He ... See full summary »
It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout ... See full summary »
One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »
Adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" set in rural Australia in the 1920's. Jack Dickens and his niece Sally run the family farm to support brother-in-law Alexander as a (supposedly ... See full summary »
1954, the Malabar Coast. British and Anglo-Indian identities blur when an English-woman with a neglectful husband births a sickly baby. Cotton Mary, a hospital aide and moralizing Anglophile who claims her father was a British officer, takes over the infant's care and, without a word to the mother, takes the baby daily to her sister to nurse. Mary moves into the English household, taking over more and more duties as she plays on the mother's fatigue and lack of spousal counsel: in effect, Mary colonizes the English household while she pilfers its stores and tells tall tales to her own family. For how long can Mary sustain her rule before the Englishwoman stands on her own feet? Written by
Thank Goodness Merchant and Ivory share some stuff.
They are both masters of creating an intoxicating atmosphere ! The scenery of their movies are always breathtakingly beautiful. 'Cotton Mary' is no exception.
And Ismael Merchant lured a leading lady into his picture that is even more gorgeous than all the scenery of the Merchant-Ivory films (in which she has shined so often) combined. Besides that, Greta Scacchi is an astonishing actress, and so she is again in this film. So fragile yet so present, what an enormous accomplishment !! Her performance alone deserves a (re)viewing of this film.
The other principal actors give us very nice portrayals too.
Somehow Merchant does not seem to be able to capture the excitement his partner Ivory finds so easily. Somehow this beautiful picture with good performances and a stunning Scacchi refuses to really fly after taking off nicely.
The film is not as bad as some would like you to believe, far from it. Imagery and acting and the technical side of filming, together with the beautiful scenery, will make 'Cotton Mary' an agreable pastime for 2 hours.
But surely it could have been so much more with all the talent and beauty assembled ? It was nice, where it could have been great. If the characters would have been given a bit more depth, this would have been a stunning film, instead of the nice one it is now...
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