The movie is a study of a family of country gentry in Victorian England. William Adamson (Mark Rylance), a young scientist, is introduced into the Alabaster family by Sir Harald Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp) who is also fascinated by insects. William marries the elder daughter of the family and studies the amounts of insects in the garden of the villa. His - for the gentry - strange behaviors reveal at the same time their own failures and passions. —Volker Boehm
Stunning acting and subtlety and sexuality
This movie presents a brilliant stage worthy level of acting to the screen. I was stunned by the quality and subtlety of the performances especially the lead and Kristin Thomas. The story is almost painfully slow but that helps create a mood and sexual tension that works perfectly. I was literally on the edge of my seat both with the drama of the characters and just wanting to be closer to their nuanced performances. Jeremy Kemp as the elder Lord of the manor Sir Harald Alabaster displays aristocratic intelligence rarely found in films. The dinner table discussions of the emergence of the radical new approaches to evolution and culture surrounding Darwin's revelations are compelling. Also the role of Edgar, representing the boorish son who clings to the old ways of class hierarchy is finely wrought. Highly recommended. A thoughtful film.
- Nov 24, 2004
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