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With: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron, Terry Kinney, Anthony LaPaglia, Laura Linney, Jodhi May, Elizabeth McGovern, Eric Stoltz
Written by: Terence Davies, based on the novel by Edith Wharton
Directed by: Terence Davies
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic material
Running Time: 140
Date: 08/05/2000

The House of Mirth (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Heart to Bart

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I've heard from several smart people who greatly loved The House of Mirth after seeing it a second time. I've only seen it once, so my opinion may be tainted. I found the first half of the film lively and interesting, with Gillian Anderson's performance as Lily Bart a revelation of spirit. The film shows fluid use of space and gentle texture. Yet, as Lily continues her fall from the social ladder, the film becomes thick and airless, and it's difficult to sit still for it. Terence Davies, the outstanding filmmaker behind Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992), adapted Edith Wharton's novel and directed. Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd, Laura Linney, Anthony LaPaglia, Elizabeth McGovern, Eleanor Bron, and Terry Kinney also star. I have enough faith in the film to see it again when it runs on PBS, though it's probably better to see it on the big screen.

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