An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.
Bobby Platt (Christian Bale) is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange... See full summary »
The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after a ten year absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.
London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent ... See full summary »
Ruth's been brainwashed by a guru in Delhi, India. Her parents in Sydney hire a specialist in reversing this. Ruth is tricked to return to Australia and is isolated in an outback cabin with the specialist. It gets messy.
In the mid-19th century, a mute woman is sent to New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
Julia runs a trendy bar in Barcelona. She treats men with caution, believing one can love too much and invite pain. She's been dating Pablo, one of her waiters. After his grisly murder (his... See full summary »
In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
Isabel Archer, an American heiress and free thinker travels to Europe to find herself. She tactfully rebuffs the advances of Caspar Goodwood, another American who has followed her to England. Her cousin, Ralph Touchett, wise but sickly becomes a soulmate of sorts for her. She makes an unfortunate alliance with the creepy Madame Merle who leads her to make an even more unfortunate alliance with Gilbert Osmond, a smooth but cold collector of Objets' de art who seduces her with an intense but unattainable sexuality. Isabel marries Osmond only to realize she's just another piece of art for his collection and that Madame Merle and Osmond are lovers who had hatched a diabolical scheme to take Isabel's fortune. Isabel's only comfort is the innocent daughter of Osmond, Pansy, but even that friendship is spoiled when Countess Gemini, Osmond's sister, reveals the child's true parentage. Isabel finally breaks free of Osmond and returns to Ralph's bedside, where, while breathing his last, they ...Written by
Teresa B. <O'Donnell@worldnet.att.net>
First collaboration between Director Jane Campion and Nicole Kidman. However, it was Campion who discovered Kidman, where she, at the age of fourteen, was performing at Australian Theater for Young People and subsequently caught the eye of Campion. See more »
they show piazza del Campidoglio in Rome as it was when they made the movie but the paving was put in place only in 1940, although following the 16th century project by Michelangelo, and the statue of Marcus Aurelius was regularly in place. It was removed for restoration in 1981 and then substituted by a copy in 1996. See more »
Given the tenor of some of the other reviews posted here, I should start by making the extent of my disagreements clear.
First, this film is unquestionably Jane Campion's best work to date, and it represents, in particular, a significant advance beyond her previous work in The Piano.
Second, this film, while unapologetically feminist in point of view, in no sense attempts to shoehorn James's artistic vision into an ideological box for which it is unsuited. On the contrary, James has probably never been more sensitively interpreted on screen.
Third, purely as a film, The Portrait of a Lady belongs on a short shelf among the very best movies of the 1990's, of whatever genre.
Consider what Campion was up against: A literary adaptation, in the first place (itself almost a recipe for cinematic failure); a Henry James novel, in particular (a novelist who situated most of the "action" in his novels in the invisible social and psychological spaces between his characters, and whose works therefore constitute a kind of standing temptation to focus on picturesque/prestigious historical ambiance at the expense of narrative power); and a story, as James himself pointed out, centered on the seemingly quite confined topic of one very ordinary young woman's working out of her particular destiny.
Out of these distinctly unpromising materials, Ms. Campion created a film in which nearly every scene adds depth and color to her story, even after repeated viewings. And her Isabelle Archer (beautifully realized by Nicole Kidman, in possibly her finest performance to date) is as fully tested and tried by life's moral and epistemological ambiguities, and as fully responsive to life's promise, on film, as Henry James's heroine is, on the printed page. One could hardly ask for more.
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