Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kansas University doctoral student Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally) wins a grant to write a biography of Latin American writer Jules Gund. Omar must get through to three ... See full summary »
This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »
The passionate Merchant Ivory drama tells the story of Françoise Gilot (Natascha McElhone), the only lover of Pablo Picasso (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty, and move on with her life.
In the opulent St. Petersburg of the Empire period, Eugene Onegin is a jaded but dashing aristocrat - a man often lacking in empathy, who suffers from restlessness, melancholy and, finally,... See full summary »
In a Florence pensione circa 1900 with English guests, George Emerson (Julian Sands) and his dad (Denholm Elliott) offer their rooms with views to Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and her chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett (Dame Maggie Smith). Lucy and George get acquainted, but Lucy returns to England. George and Lucy meet again, but now she's engaged.
Helena Bonham Carter,
Shanghai. 1936. Crossroads of the world and into this city of political intrigue comes Sofia, a Russian Countess who, with the remains of her family, has been left stateless by the Revolution. Forced by her reduced circumstances to support herself and her family as a bar-girl and taxi dancer, Sofia forms a relationship with Jackson, a blind former diplomat who opens an elegant bar; The White Countess. Their curious relationship matures but they are caught up in the fall of the city to the Japanese invaders.Written by
A beautiful, other worldly movie, not for the faint-hearted
The poignancy of this movie outweighs any shortcomings in the directorial department. I found myself immersed in the milieu of 1930's ShangHai, a place and time I had only read of and subsequently wondered about.
The real strength of this movie is the accessibility with which powerful emotion is portrayed. I found I had real empathy for the characters.
The characters were played superbly by one of the most pedigreed casts I've seen in a while.
The pace was slow, but measured and well-suited to the plot.
Ralph Fiennes was a convincing lead -- the image of him reminds me of TS Eliot mixed with Rick Blaine (Casablanca).
Natasha Richardson is brilliant in this role. Understated and quite believable.
All in all a beautiful, other worldly movie, and not for the faint-hearted.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this