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PORTRAIT OF A LADY

SYNOPSIS:
Based on the classic book by Henry James, the film explores the life of independent heroine Isabel Archer. Amidst the luxurious and oppressive lifestyles of late 19th century Europe, the young American sets out to claim her own identity. She finds herself shackled by a loveless marriage and a devious friend, but finally fights to regain her right to happiness.

Review by Louise Keller:
The beauty of Jane Campionís film lies not in what is said, but what is not said. The understated is beautifully captured in this stunning period piece, which offers the most splendid cinematography imaginable, coupled with a magnificent musical score; a portrait is etched in every frame.

Nicole Kidman is both moving and vulnerable as Isabelle Archer, Barbara Hershey gives an outstanding and insightful performance, while John Malkovich is convincingly manipulative in a role which is not dissimilar to his role in Dangerous Liaisons.

In fact, there are several parallels that one could draw with that film; Dangerous Liaisons being by far the more satisfying film. But while I connected with all the characters emotionally, the main flaw for this reviewer, lies in the script; the jump in time leaves Isabelle Archerís experience of falling-in-love to our imagination, and the change in our heroine would have been more satisfying had we been privy to witness it ourselves. The ending, too, for me was incomplete; despite an exquisite filmic experience I was left feeling rather dissatisfied.

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US/Australia

CAST: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Donovan, Shelley Winters, Richard E. Grant, Shelley Duvall, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen, Valentina Cervi, John Gielgud

PRODUCER: Monty Montgomery

DIRECTOR: Jane Campion

SCRIPT: Laura Jones, based on the novel by Henry James

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stuart Dryburgh

EDITOR: Veronika Jenet

MUSIC: Wojiech Kilar

PRODUCTION DESIGN & COSTUME: Janet Patterson

RUNNING TIME: 144 mins

AUST DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 6, 1997

US/Australia







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