Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA/United Kingdom, 1997. Miramax, Renaissance Dove. Screenplay by Hossein Amini, based on the novel by Henry James. Cinematography by Eduardo Serra. Produced by Stephen Evans, David Parfitt. Music by Ed Shearmur. Production Design by John Beard. Costume Design by Sandy Powell. Film Editing by Tariq Anwar. Academy Awards 1997. Boston Film Critics Awards 1997. Golden Globe Awards 1997. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 1997. National Board of Review Awards 1997. New York Film Critics Awards 1997. Toronto International Film Festival 1997.
Superior adaptation of the Henry James novel has Helena Bonham Carter encourage her secret fiance Linus Roache to feign love for dying heiress Alison Elliott in order for them both to get their hands on her money once the earnest woman dies. What neither of them count on is that they both grow true affection for Elliott, Roache especially falling in love with her. As often happens in James, characters manipulate an innocent victim and get away with it as far as the outside world can see, but their inability to escape their own consciences does them in every time. Bonham Carter has never been more complex or fascinating, Roache is possibly the most kissable man in the movies and Elliott is absolutely divine in a career-changing role.