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Wings of the Dove movie review

Wings of the Dove, Festivale movie review The Wings of the Dove

The Wings of the Dove is a 101 minute adaptation of one of Henry James’ lesser known novels. A short and sweet soapy, if you will.

Kate Croy (Helena Bonham Carter) is a conniving and repressively gloomy character, who is wholly in love with town commoner Merton Densher (Linus Roach). Forbidding their relationship is Kate’s upper class Aunt Maud (Charlotte Rampling), who threatens to exclude Kate and her divorced father from the family’s vast fortune.

The lovers’ sexual and emotional relationship is based on their understanding of each other, and the knowing that wherever one goes the other will be standing with them side to side. But Kate doesn’t think twice about ignoring Merton for a low-standing-in-society-but-spiritually-beneficial marriage, and explores all opportunities to have her cake and screw it too.

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The dazzling Millie Theale (Alison Elliot) enters the scheme; a charming and gorgeous millionaire who is slowly dying of a terminal disease. Kate works up a devilish scheme for Merton to seduce Millie, thus inheriting all her money if the plan goes right. But sooner or later she is forced to contemplate her relationship’s integrity by balancing her desire to be rich by her longing to be the only woman in Merton’s mind.

What director Iain Softley (who gave us Hackers in 1995) delivers in Wings of the Dove is provocative, finely tuned romance of a dark nature. The essence of real situations and characters are existent is so many ways – Carter’s performance as the arrogant Kate, the lush surroundings of London and Venice and most of all a genuinely well written script. He has been careful not to make the film place all its cards on the table too soon, so interesting character developments occur which renew the viewers interest levels. And just when you thought that the Wings of the Dove had shown you all it has to offer, riveting ending scenes put everything into perspective.

If films like Sense and Sensibility or SBS movies have put you off period dramas, then rest assured that Wings of the Dove is much more enjoyable than many others of its kind. Although not exactly easy viewing, this is one motion picture than deserves to be known as something very unique and artistic.

Click here to buy films from one of the online stores in Festivale's on-line shopping mall From 0 stars (bomb), to 5 stars (a masterpiece): 4 stars

Review © copyright Luke Buckmaster
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Title: Wings of the Dove (199)
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The Players: Helena Bonham Carter; Linus Roach; Charlotte Rampling
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