Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
On a rainy London night in 1946, novelist Maurice Bendrix has a chance meeting with Henry Miles, husband of his ex-mistress Sarah, who abruptly ended their affair two years before. ... See full summary »
Sympathetic look loosely based on the relationship between tobacco heiress, Doris Duke (1912-1993) - think Duke University - and her shy butler, Bernard Lafferty. The icy and mercurial Duke fires her butler for serving a chilled cantaloupe; the agency sends Lafferty, formerly household staff to Liz Taylor and to Peggy Lee. He's an alcoholic, fresh out of rehab. He gradually becomes Duke's gay alter ego as she romps through life sleeping with young men, making shrewd decisions quickly, managing her fortune and orchids as Lafferty manages her New Jersey estate. With a wine cellar to die for, Bernard falls off the wagon. Can he pull himself together when Doris needs him? Written by
"She said it was important. 'Perhaps I will get the feeling back ..." It's the same body of a newspaper article for two different articles. Around 23 minutes into movie. One article had headline of Doris Duke attending opening with Leonard Bernstein. The second headline was her buying a Boeing 737 for $25 million. See more »
This is a fantastic movie. I don't know thing one about the life and death of Doris Duke, and as it says in the beginning credits: "Some of this film is based on facts...Some of it isn't." What writer Hugh Costello, director Bob Balaban, actors Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes have come up with here is sheer brilliance. Two troubled people who come together, almost accidentally, only to find that each of their unique psychological troubles meshes extremely well with the other's. Yes, it's a story about "enabling" and "codependence", but it's also a story of the power of friendship and loyalty (no matter how sadly unhealthy it might be for both parties involved). I can't say enough good things about the performances of both Sarandon & Fiennes, not to mention all the other actors, and the director, cinematographer, etc... But I must say, the writing is paritcularly effective. The story of these two people's intertwining lives comes off as so true, so kind-of tragic, and so compelling, that I will never forget this film. Bravo!!!
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?