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"The Wings of the Dove," inspired by the classic novel
by Henry James is the tale of a couple with everything but money,
an heiress with everything but love and a temptation no
one could resist. When Kate (Helena Bonham Carter) falls in love
with a common journalist (Linus Roache), she faces an impossible
choice: either marry the man she loves, or give him up to take
her rightful place in society. The struggle between her head and
her heart is a conflict between 19th century values and 20th century
passions. Their highly charged love affair is forbidden and necessarily
discreet until the arrival of a young American heiress (Alison
Elliott) nursing her own tragic secret. She offers them a tempting
solution that will lead all three into a world of dizzying possibility
and unexpected consequence.
Drama - Slow and sumptuous like most period pieces, THE WINGS OF THE DOVE, based on the novel by Henry James, is a little more "modern" than the recent WASHINGTON SQUARE, but it will likely appeal to the same audience. The movie should play well to viewers who like motion picture adaptations of classic, early-20th century literature or enjoy Merchant-Ivory fare such as HOWARDS END and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY.
PROFANITY: One mild instance. SEX/NUDITY: Full frontal female nudity. Two sex scenes. VIOLENCE: None DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Occasional smoking, alcohol use. One scene in opium den. ACTION: None COMEDY: Very little, and none that is overt.
THE WINGS OF THE DOVE is very much an actors' film because, although the characters are set down on paper, it's up to the performers to bring them to life. A viewer's appreciation of the film, with all of its powerful drama and uncomfortable questions, depends on his or her acceptance of each of the three principals as unique individuals, not as stereotypical "heroes" or "villains. The trio of actors (Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott) in the lead roles all perform effectively, using facial expressions
and body language to highlight the moral ambiguities of their characters. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE is not a happy tale, but it is a vivid and unforgettable one, featuring multi-dimensional characters, beautiful cinematography, impressive set design, and accomplished acting.