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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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lily Bart
... Augustus 'Gus' Trenor
... Mrs. Julia Peniston, Lily's Aunt
... George Dorset
... Sim Rosedale (as Anthony Lapaglia)
... Bertha Dorset
... Grace Julia Stepney
... Mrs. Carry Fisher
... Lawrence Selden
... Judy Trenor
... Percy Gryce
Helen Coker ... Evie Van Osburgh
Mary MacLeod ... Mrs. Haffen (as Mary Macleod)
Paul Venables ... Jack Stepney
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Glädjens hus  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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: I thought that I could manage my own life, but I have been foolish, foolish to the point of being compromised.
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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 (1918) See more »

Soundtracks

Shtiler Shtiler (Quiet Quiet)
Composed by Alexander Volkoviski Tamir
Words by Shmerke Kaczerginski & Avraham Shlonsky
Performed by Melanie Pappenheim
Courtesy of NMC Music
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User Reviews

 
Like taking a warm bath in a quick shower world.
9 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is my favorite of all the Wharton novels adapted for the screen. The precision and depth with which the director and actors go is absolutely true to the novel in almost every respect.

Gillian Anderson is a revalation here, she perfectly captures the repression and pain of being a woman stuck in that time and place with no way out. You can feel her pain and torment in every quivering close up, and the passion contained in her kissing scenes (or to be more precise, her NON kissing- kissing scene) with Eric Stoltz is something to behold.

Eric Stoltz is equally amazing in one of the most complex and difficult roles for a man to play. I must disagree with the viewer from China, Mr. Seldon is NOT meant to be terribly "masculine" or "deep voiced" or "unbearably handsome"- those are modern readings that perhaps we expect from the role of the 'male hero' in modern films- but here Mr. Selden is written exactly as he is played- walking a fine line between what is correct behaviour for the time, and what he was or wasn't allowed to do in regards to her rescue. He is torn by love of Lilly Bart and the realization that he is not the right man for her, as the all important social scene would frown on their union. The actor portrays this ambiguity perfectly, and I for one found it a relief that the man didn't ride in and save the day in that cliched movie way.

I also must commend the supporting players of Anthony LaPaglia (whose role "Sim Rosedale" is originally written as a Jewish man, one of the few changes made to the n script adaption of the novel) and Laura Linney as Bertha Dorset, the 'bad girl' of the story. They both bring a life to the story that is rare to see in a period film, most actors seem to be too afraid or respectful of the material to really bring it to life.

I even enjoyed Dan Ackyroyd in a role that I didn't see him in or expect to like him in. I suppose my feelings about him are coloured by old Saturday Night Live shows, or Driving Miss Daisy, but I think he was terrific in a role that is not the most explored in the novel or the film.

Everything about this film held my interest and moved me, and I'm a very tough audience as far as Wharton goes. The pacing is indeed slow, but if you give yourself over to it it is like taking a warm bath in a quick shower world.

Very well done!


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