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The second in a trilogy of movies about Elisabeth "Sissi" of Austria, the film chronicles the married life of the young empress as she tries to adjust to formal and strict life in the palace and an overbearing mother-in-law.
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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
How much the overacting performers of "The Hours" could have learned!
Here is an exquisite, delicately told tale of frustration, repression and deception told about two sisters, the wife and lover of the same man, through the 1930s and 40s England. Although from time to time, the plot wanders toward the predictable and the sentimental and the script could have done with some more acerbic wit, you simply cannot take your eyes off the protagonists, particularly the two leading ladies. Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Williams show how to perform with perfect pitch the same sort of roles that Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and especially Julianne Moore trashed with overacting hyperbole in The Hours (although they were actualy models of restraint compared to Ed Harris - I couldn't wait for his character to throw himself out the window). They are ably supported by Paul Bettany and the wonderful Eleanor Bron.
This is not a movie for the 18 - 24 year old male demographic of course, but it will hold every intelligent viewer for its full 96 minutes (how wonderful - a moview well under 2 hours edited with self restraint).
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