In the 1930s Ricky Masters, an English businessman, marries Madeleine, a fine match socially, but the cultured aesthete is more and more attracted to her sister Dinah, a 'Bohemian' painter, and as they spend time together their affair becomes physical, even all the way; yet when she gets pregnant they decide to leave his marriage intact. He raises his son with Madeleine, who tells him only in 1946 that she knew after he had a car accident during a 'business trip' to southern France that caused Dinah to loose her unborn daughter; now Ricky wants to leave Madeleine, but she refuses a divorce; after a time in hospital he is told Dinah chose to move back to France without him while she's really living in London, still not the last twist of the drama...Written by
This exquisitely crafted film is much better than what we have heard it was. The film has an incredible texture, but of course, it's not for everyone. Director Thaddeus O'Sullivan presents this story of love and betrayal with a style that is surprising. The material in which this film is based is the novel by Rosamond Lehmann, that shows a slice of the life in London among the upper classes in the 30s, prior to WWII and adapted for the screen by Lucinda Coxon.
The story of this love triangle involves Madeleine, a young society matron, married to Rickie, a successful bank executive. They entertain lavishly; it's obvious they know the right people, as it shows in their lavish parties. Dinah, Madeleine's sister is a loose cannon. She is a young woman who couldn't care less about being int the right places, or to mix with the right crowd.
Dinah and Rickie begin an affair. Rickie agonizes about the situation and how to handle it. Madeleine never gets a hint until Rickie reveals his intention of leaving her. Madeleine, without Rickie will lose it all, her status in society and all the other little perks. But she is not prepared to accept the idea that Dinah is the one who has lured Rickie away from her. The relationship among the three principals will never be the same.
Helena Bonham Carter plays Dinah with abandon. She's a no nonsense actress and she clearly gets into her character's skin. Olivia Williams is a staid and shocked Madeleine. Ms Williams is a beauty that epitomizes the type of English society woman naturally. Paul Bettany is convincing as Rickie, the man torn between love and duty. Eleanor Bron makes an excellent Mrs. Burkett.
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