This week’s pick is a beautifully paced, emotional and in the end tragic film from 1997. Iain Softely’s screen adaptation of the Henry James novel, The Wings of the Dove wonderfully portrays the romance, passion and pathos that you would not otherwise expect in an Edwardian period costumed drama.
It is a story about the lengths one will go to get what they want most in life – love. That sounds like a noble enough pursuit; however as displayed in this film, the course never runs according to plan and often, the outcome is not what you expect or hope for. The film is also a clear statement on how social class, money and privilege as forces that often lead to drastic actions.
The Wings of the Dove features a wonderful cast which includes Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Charlotte Rampling, Alison Elliot and Michael Gambon.
Despite seemingly flying under the radar, the film did get recognized around awards season, including a Best Actress nod for Helena Bonham Carter. By far I feel that this was her finest moment in creating a character that on one hand you empathize with but on the other you despise her for her actions. Initially her motives may be noble and driven by a pure, unselfish act (love) but she acts upon them in the most selfish manipulative way.
Of the many costume dramas to have come out over the past 20 plus years, I definitely think that this film ranks among the best.