Movie Review by Dr Kuma
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Williams, Paul Bettany, Eleanor Bron, Luke Newberry
Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan
I must admit, the thought of seeing a movie starring Helena Bonham Carter was about as appetizing as a herbal Enema. If there was one actress on the planet whom I thought was less appealing, I would be a happy man at locating a name. However, it is with a humble heart and cap bowed that I say that she is quite excellent in this new release. After the less than appealing role in the strange NOVOCAINE, she is back to what she does best – playing strong women in a period where strong women were not appreciated.
Just to fill you in on the storyline. Set in 1930’s London, two sisters – Madeleine (the excellent Olivia Williams) and Dinah (Bonham Carter) – are inseparable until Madeleine marries Rickie (another excellent turn by Paul Bettany) while the other falls in love with him and he with her. He begins an affair, which is to have repercussions throughout their lives and spells disaster for all concerned.
This period piece is beautifully realized with superb acting from all concerned (including the great Eleanor Bron).
Without going into too much detail, it is worth pointing out two things:
That no one else in the world makes better period dramas than the BBC (whose movie arm created this). These along with their wildlife documentaries are the UK’s greatest export since the Beatles.
That Paul Bettany is one of the best new talents to adorn the silver screen. After stealing the movie from Heath Ledger in A KNIGHTS TALE as Geoffrey Chaucer and matching blow for blow with the Oscar winning Russell Crowe in A BEAUTIFUL MIND, he here turns in one of the best performances in a supporting role I have seen in a long time. The problem is however – I dislike him. Not because I think he is a bad actor, quite the contrary, but the fact that he married Jennifer Connelly, his co-star in A BEAUTIFUL MIND! What a talented cad!
I recommend that anyone who enjoys reading novels where they lose themselves in the lives of the characters within its pages rush post haste to see this British gem.
Dr Kuma’s verdict: A beautifully realized, downbeat, yet mesmerizing film.