The Wings of the Dove

D: Iain Softley
Miramax/Renaissance Dove (David Parfitt & Stephen Evans)
UK/US 1997
101 mins


W: Hossein Amini [based on the novel by Henry James]
DP: Eduardo Serra
Ed: Tariq Anwar
Mus: Edward Shearmur
PD: John Beard
Cos: Sandy Powell

Helena Bonham-Carter (Kate Croy), Linus Roache (Merton Densher), Alison Elliott (Milly Theale), Elizabeth McGovern (Susan Stringham), Charlotte Rampling (Aunt Maude), Michael Gambon (Lionel Croy)

High society period drama, based on the novel by Henry James.
At the turn of the 20th century, a young woman (Bonham-Carter) embarks on an affair with a penniless journalist, but when her mother forbids their tryst, they face two options to continue their relationship. The first is to lose everything and live their lives hand-to-mouth, while the other, more sinister option is to get him to seduce a dying American heiress, so that he can be named a beneficiary, but things become even more complicated when he develops serious affection for the ailing woman.
Though the story would work better as a book, this film adaptation does a fine job, capturing the period well as well as being beautifully photographed. The performances are all excellent, especially from Helena Bonham-Carter and Alison Elliott.

Alison Elliott & Helena Bonham-Carter in The Wings of the Dove
Alison Elliott & Helena Bonham-Carter in The Wings of the Dove