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The House of Mirth (2000)

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A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.



Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Dorset
Sim Rosedale (as Anthony Lapaglia)
Pearce Quigley ...
Helen Coker ...
Mary MacLeod ...
Mrs. Haffen (as Mary Macleod)
Paul Venables ...
Serena Gordon ...


Terence Davies' The House of Mirth is a tragic love story set against a background of wealth and social hypocrisy in turn of the century New York. Lily Bart is a ravishing socialite at the height of her success who quickly discovers the precariousness of her position when her beauty and charm start attracting unwelcome interest and jealousy. Torn between her heart and her head, Lilly always seems to do the right thing at the wrong time. She seeks a wealthy husband and in trying to conform to social expectations, she misses her chance for real love with Lawrence Selden. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When a woman has the beauty men admire and women envy...it is wise to tread carefully.


Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

7 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Glädjens hus  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£88,920 (UK) (13 October 2000)


$3,041,803 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Terence Davies whenever possible used actual period dresses - some so fragile with age that they ripped off of the actresses during scenes - and period corsets, which caused some of the actresses great pain but made them understand better the constraints put on women of the period. See more »


The film, which takes place during 1905-07, depicts several characters attending a performance of the opera "Cosi fan tutte" - but that opera was first performed in New York in 1922. See more »


Lawrence Selden: Isn't marriage your vocation? Isn't it what you're all brought up for?
Lily Bart: You speak as if I should marry the first man who came along.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the staff of Kelvingrove Museum, the Lord Provost and staff at Glasgow City Chambers, residents of Kersland Street, all the staff at the Arthouse Hotel, Glasgow, and the Earls of Wemyss and March and Lady Wemyss. See more »


Version of The House of Mirth (1918) See more »


Soave Sia Il Vento
from "Cosi fan tutte"
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
Performed by Slovak Philharmonic Chorus
Conducted by Johannes Wildner
Courtesy of Naxos Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

Stunning acting, stunning directing, stunning movie!
18 September 2000 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

This is such an evocative and moving film. A must see.

In all honestly Davies direction does take some getting used to. No quick editing for him! Yes the pace was slow, it concentrated on the actors faces longer than usual. However I felt this was necessary in order to show the tension of the people and the lethal nature of the words spoken

The cast were wonderful. Stoltz was ideal as Seldon. He was cool and suave and attractive. I also enjoyed Laura Linney as Bertha -she really sold me on being a very nasty woman. The main star, Gillian Anderson, performed with grace, poise and charisma. This woman can convey emotions - just look into her eyes. She does not need to speak to tell you how Lily is feeling. She was mesmerizing. For example, when Lily was flirting with Seldon you somehow could feel her discontent.

Her descent into hell was heartbreaking. One scene, when Lily is at her lowest, will stay with me for a long time. The hopelessness was obvious, as if she was slowly dying. She was beyond caring for anything - and it showed in her eyes - dulled and weary.

Gillian Anderson brought Lily through a myriad of emotions. We loved her, pitied her, wanted to slap her! She was cynical and manipulative, a total flirt and then she fell. The gamut of emotions Anderson went through was incredible and to take the audience with her was a miracle.

This movie leaves an impact. It will not be a blockbuster (too intelligent and too wordy for that.) God forbid should we make an audience pay attention and think in a movie. The movie, unlike most period dramas, really brought home how nasty life was. Vicious and unforgiving to those who did not play the game.

If you can, go and see it. I promise it will be worth it.

56 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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