The Wings Of The Dove, The Wings Of The Dove movie review, Movie Review, Rilm Review

Michael A. Maynez photo

"Wings Of The Dove"

Helena Bonham Carter astounds the senses in "The Wings Of The Dove". If you have forgotten her memorable performances in "Room With A View" and "Howard's End" here is a wonderful opportunity to see her at her extreme best in the adaptation of Henry James' novel, by Hossein Amini, remember his exceptional adaptation of "Jude". He may not give you all the subtexts of the James novel, but he gets to the point, which makes it all the more absorbing. The ad tells you "A couple with everything but money. An heiress with everything but love. A temptation no one could resist". With the exquisitely elegant triangle, you are on your gondola trip to Venice and the very heart of drained emotions.

Linus Roache, who last year made an impression in "Priest" reinforces his footstep to greater roles to wear the mantle left by the great Leslie Howard. Alison Elliott plays the American heiress, she shines memorably. Charlotte Rampling plays Aunt Maude with candor and style. You forget that it wasn't that long ago that she was Europe's sexpot.

But the signature of director Iain Softley is all over the place. Incredibly mounted by a crew that captures the era, from luscious backgrounds by production designer John Beard to costume designer Sandy Powell swooping hats that only Carter can wear with such aplomb as to make you think she is actually going to walk off the screen and sit in front of you to block the view. It is the cinematographer Eduardo Serra who brings it all to the full front. Venice has never looked more inviting since "Summertime". If the dove soars and alights on the shoulders of Helena Bonham Carter is because she is a consummate actress and even in this simplification of James wordiness she rules and controls a magnificent film.


The Wings of The Dove
Produced by: Stephen Evans, David Pareitt
Directed by: Iain Softley
With: Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott, Elizabeth McGovern, Michael Gambon, Alex Jennings, Charlotte Rampling
Casting: Michelle Guish
Music by: Edward Shearmur
Costume Designer: Sandy Powell
Editor: Tariq Anwar
Production Designer: John Beard
Director of Photography: Eduardo Serra
Executive producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Paul Feldsher
Based on the novel by: Henry James
Screenplay by: Hossein Amini
Rated: R
Limited release 7 November 1997 in LA/NY

To contact Michael send e-mail to
To main index
Web Site by Alan Case
Original Date Sunday 23 November 1997
Updated Sunday 23 November 1997