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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

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

Grace: Men have minds like moral flypaper. They will forgive a woman almost anything except the loss of her good name.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The House of Mirth (1918) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo
From "String Quartet no.3"
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Period Drama For A Modern Audience
2 May 2001 | by mark_leeforshawSee all my reviews

Along with Scorsese's, The Age of Innocence and Iain Softley's, The Wings of the Dove, Terence Davies' The House of Mirth forms a triumvirate of modern period drama for a discerning audience. Davies is not interested chiefly in either scenery or costume - that is, in history as a heritage theme-park - but in the story, its themes and characters, and in teasing out good performances from his cast. The modest budget of this film works in its favour. Most of the best scenes and shots are framed in intimacy, not lost amidst panoramas of superficial grandeur or the shallow aesthetics of Merchant-Ivory-style film making.

At the heart of Davies' film is Gillian Anderson's brilliant performance as Lilly Bart. Since she is on screen almost all of the time the film really stands or falls by her performance. She sheds her "X-Files" persona in moments and conveys an enormous range of subtle emotions as her character vacillates between an almost involuntary avarice and moral scruples, foolishness, charm, fortune and tragedy. The affect of Anderson's performance is lasting and deep. Indeed, this film lives on long in the memory and continued to trouble me for weeks after I had seen it.


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