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The Golden Bowl (2000)

R | | Drama, Romance | 25 May 2001 (USA)
A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

Henry James (novel), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Beckinsale ... Maggie Verver
James Fox ... Colonel Bob Assingham
Anjelica Huston ... Fanny Assingham
Nick Nolte ... Adam Verver
Jeremy Northam ... Prince Amerigo
Madeleine Potter ... Lady Castledean
Uma Thurman ... Charlotte Stant
Nicholas Day ... Lord Castledean
Peter Eyre ... A.R. Jarvis, Shopkeeper
Nickolas Grace Nickolas Grace ... Lecturer
Robin Hart Robin Hart ... Mr. Blint
Daniel Byam Shaw Daniel Byam Shaw ... Principino at Five Years
Francesco Giuffrida Francesco Giuffrida ... Duke's Younger Son
Marta Paola Richeldi Marta Paola Richeldi ... The Duchess
Rossano Rubicondi Rossano Rubicondi ... Duke's Older Son
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Storyline

Adam Verver, a US billionaire in London, dotes on daughter Maggie, an innocent abroad. An impecunious Italian, Prince Amerigo, marries her even though her best friend, Charlotte Stant, an alabaster beauty with brains, no money, and a practical and romantic nature, is his lover. She and Amerigo keep it secret from Maggie that they know each other, so Maggie interests her widowed father in Charlotte, who is happy with the match because she wants to be close to Amerigo. Charlotte desires him, the lovers risk discovery, Amerigo longs for Italy, Maggie wants to spare her father pain, and Adam wants to return to America to build a museum. Amidst lies and artifice, what fate awaits adulterers? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Merchant Ivory Productions

Country:

USA | France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La coupe d'or See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

FRF 1,833,043 (France), 20 September 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$90,170, 29 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,037,579, 5 August 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to costume designer John Bright, Cosprop provided lace and sequined dresses for the principal actresses: 28 outfits for Uma Thurman, 15 for Anjelica Huston and 20 for Kate Beckinsale. See more »

Goofs

When the merchant delivers the golden bowl to Charlotte, he examines two pictures on the table behind the sofa. As he sets them down, the one on the right (seen from behind it) is placed so that it scrunches up the cloth runner. After Charlotte arrives, and he is explaining the coincidence of the subject couple asking about the bowl, the picture is seen again (from the front) and the cloth runner is smooth, as if recently ironed. See more »

Quotes

Amerigo: What is it you want from me?
Maggie: I want a happiness without a hole in it! I want the bowl without the crack!
See more »

Crazy Credits

grateful thanks to Lord Tollemache and family; Frances, Duchess of Rutland; The Duke of Northumberland See more »

Connections

Version of The Golden Bowl (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Wall Street Rag
Written by Scott Joplin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Subtle, complex and wonderfully portrayed
5 February 2003 | by cm-9See all my reviews

The best Merchant Ivory so far, and ideal film material.

The story is engrossing and perceptive, dealing with human relationships in all their forms. It takes a hard and frank look at the motivation behind several different relationships, which varies from selfishness, loneliness and boredom to love of the deepest kind. The film makes you wonder how and why we choose our friends.

Personally, I found the acting and direction superb, apart from a couple of flat speeches by Kate Beckinsale (whose accent also varied quite a bit). Unfortunately one of these comes in the scene where her character is introduced, which may have put some people off this film at an early stage (there are a lot of negative comments on here!). The rest of the cast are superb, especially Uma Thurman who is mastering the art of conveying a lot of meaning with just a single look. Tension builds up throughout and is skillfully maintained right until the end.

It is, of course, a film that you need to see on a big screen as part of the point of a Merchant Ivory production is the exquisite detail that goes into getting the costumes and locations just right. Even more so than in their past productions, a huge amount of effort has been spent here.

One thing I found is that the characters felt fairly isolated: most of the time, you just saw the leading characters in a scene on their own and, apart from a couple of party scenes, there was not much attempt to show the society in which they lived; also there were few exterior shots in the cities. It may be that that was quite deliberate, to show that these incredibly wealthy people lived very insular lives.


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