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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.

Director:

Terence Davies

Writers:

Edith Wharton (novel), Terence Davies
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Anderson ... Lily Bart
Dan Aykroyd ... Augustus 'Gus' Trenor
Eleanor Bron ... Mrs. Julia Peniston, Lily's Aunt
Terry Kinney ... George Dorset
Anthony LaPaglia ... Sim Rosedale (as Anthony Lapaglia)
Laura Linney ... Bertha Dorset
Jodhi May ... Grace Julia Stepney
Elizabeth McGovern ... Mrs. Carry Fisher
Eric Stoltz ... Lawrence Selden
Penny Downie ... Judy Trenor
Pearce Quigley ... Percy Gryce
Helen Coker Helen Coker ... Evie Van Osburgh
Mary MacLeod Mary MacLeod ... Mrs. Haffen (as Mary Macleod)
Paul Venables Paul Venables ... Jack Stepney
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ... Gwen Stepney
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Storyline

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, Lily 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | France | Germany

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

7 March 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Glädjens hus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£88,920 (United Kingdom), 15 October 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,039, 25 December 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,041,803, 8 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Terence Davies used actual period dresses whenever possible. Some were so fragile that they ripped off of the actresses during scenes. He also used period corsets, which caused some of the actresses great pain, but made them better understand the constraints on women of the period. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lily Bart: If obliquity were a vice, we should all be tainted.
Mrs. Peniston: Only someone without family could make such a vulgar remark.
Lily Bart: Aunt Julia, you are my family.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits the Kinowelt Medien AG is misspelled as "Kinowelt Median AG" See more »

Connections

References Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Oboe Concerto in D Minor: Slow Movement
Composed by Alessandro Marcello
Performed by Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely Riveting
29 January 2008 | by kimberly_annSee all my reviews

I'm not sure how this movie could get a bad review. Of course, there are those people who find its pace too slow. However, one must realize that this is a period drama; it's not meant to be an action-packed suspense thriller. Everything is subtle, but it is so beautifully prepared, thought out, and executed by all.

1. Were it for nothing else, the technical aspects of this film would have kept me watching until the very end. The music was perfectly placed to rise and fall with the internal emotions of the characters - especially Lily and Lawrence - and to express the turmoil of the social downfall of Lily. On top of that, you have phenomenal costumes and set with the most lavish colors. Lastly, and possibly what I found most fascinating about the film, was the lighting. it always seemed just bright enough or just dark enough to reflect the romance or dreariness. In addition, there is just not denying that the way the light fell upon Gillian Anderson in every, single scene is something I have never seen before.

2. The all-star cast! Gillian Anderson. Eric Stolz. Laura Linney. Anthony LaPaglia. Dan Akroyd. Do I have to go on? I can almost guarantee that you'll find yourself, at one point or another, yelling at the screen. These characters are so manipulative and deceitful and malicious. And Lily is so naive and just won't accept love when it's given!! I think the best thing about the cast and performances in this film is that watching the film and listening to it are 2 completely opposite experiences. The actors convey one thing with their faces and another with their voices; it's pure talent. I was amazed.

3. If nothing else, this film should watched purely for Gillian Anderson. This project was so different than her 'X Files' persona - and such a success, at that. The way she uses her eyes to express 5 different emotions in a matter of seconds blew me away. Her acting and utter vulnerability was awe-inspiring.


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