Washington Square

Washington SquareBBB.5

(out of 5)

Marvelously costumed, faithful adaptation of Henry James’ 19th-century novel is not as powerful as The Heiress thanks mainly to an overly-awkward performance by  as heroine Catherine Sloper. Raised by her widower father (), Catherine is a painfully shy, plain young woman who comes to life when a handsome suitor () throws his amorous attentions her way. Dismissed by her father as a fortune hunter, Chaplin has no hopes of marrying the young lady unless he can actually prove that he loves her and not her money. Even more painful to bear is Catherine’s personal realization that her father thinks her of so little worth in the womanliness department that he would be so quick to assume that no one could ever truly love her. Agnieszka Holland’s direction doesn’t plumb the depths well enough, but James’ beautiful dialogue is truly infallible, and  gives a hilarious performance as Catherine’s meddlesome aunt.

USA, 1997

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  TIFF 1997



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