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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 ... 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

Edith Wharton named the source novel after a passage from Ecclesiastes 7:4, "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." 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: Why is it when we meet we always play this elaborate game?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the staff of Kelvingrove Museum, the Lord Provost and staff at Glasgow City Chambers, residents of Kersland Street, all the staff at the Arthouse Hotel, Glasgow, and the Earls of Wemyss and March and Lady Wemyss. See more »

Connections

Version of The House of Mirth (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Cosi Fan Tutte: Overture
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
Performed by Orchestra and Chorus "La Petite Bande"
Conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken
Courtesy of Accent Records, Belgium
See more »

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User Reviews

A richly painted tapestry of early New York society, Anderson is terrific.
16 January 2001 | by tjacksonSee all my reviews

House of Mirth is a richly painted tapestry of a piece of early American Society all but unrecognizable to most Americans. It's a great story and great looking, but the real surprise in Terence Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel is how deftly Gillian Anderson among others manages to gracefully convey the stilted rigors of the period language. The film is largely about the traps and deceits verbal gamesmanship and class one-upsmanship. It is a deadly and vicious internal warfare that goes on with the upper class bourgeois in New York City in the early 20th century. The price one pays – particularly that a woman pays – for straying too far from the unwritten laws of that society can be severe. Lillie Bart's flaw is not really in her indiscretions, but in her inability to compromise at the right time. Her timing is fatally flawed. That the film is so relentlessly tragic, really takes the viewer by surprise, partly because Anderson gives her character such spunk and vivaciousness that you find yourself surprised by the endless bad luck that she brings on herself. Anderson's remarkable beauty, poise as an actress, facility with the dialogue, in my mind, bring her to a whole new level as an actress.

It is also wonderfully cinematic. There are rich colors and textures, beautifully framed scenes, marvellous costumes. Though steeped in tragedy and melodrama, you'll find yourself so swept away in this world that it will seem centuries and not merely decades removed from our time. Perhaps this is why the titles at the beginning and at the end are `New York 1914' – you need this reminder by the end.

With a host of good performances and a rich sense of place you will get emotionally and imaginatively swept up in this world. Just be prepared for the landing.


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