The House of Mirth
UK/USA, France, Germany, Belgium 2000. 140 Min.
Color. DCP. E, F, D/df
Playing cards becomes her downfall. Together with her naivety. And her penchant for all things romantic. And, of course, her pride. Basically, Lily Bart is neither emotionally nor intellectually equipped for the polished social floorboards she moves around on. The New York High Society of the belle-époque does not forgive any mistakes, especially if they are committed by single ladies who, instead of getting married, flirt with bachelors and speculate on the stock market. Miss Bart's downward spiral is therefore unstoppable, and a "good catch" soon becomes an ostracised woman, who in turn is almost incredulous at her own downfall to disgrace. This process is soberly but not coldly observed by Davies in his adaptation of the novel of the same name by the American author Edith Wharton, which was published in 1905. Like Wharton, Davies also looks through a microscope to understand the fine mechanics of conventions, and thereby dissects the tools of dominance of the upper class, which Lily Bart falls prey to in all innocence. Glances, gestures and words make up the mill, which consistently and mercilessly grinds the soul of a woman who dared to allow herself to dream of freedom for just a few seconds. (as)
|Screenplay||Terence Davies, Edith Wharton|
|With||Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd, Laura Linney|