Isabel Archer, an American heiress and free thinker travels to Europe to find herself. She tactfully rebuffs the advances of Caspar Goodwood, another American who has followed her to England. Her cousin, Ralph Touchett, wise but sickly becomes a soulmate of sorts for her. She makes an unfortunate alliance with the creepy Madame Merle who leads her to make an even more unfortunate alliance with Gilbert Osmond, a smooth but cold collector of Objets’ de art who seduces her with an intense but unattainable sexuality. Isabel marries Osmond only to realize she’s just another piece of art for his collection and that Madame Merle and Osmond are lovers who had hatched a diabolical scheme to take Isabel’s fortune. Isabel’s only comfort is the innocent daughter of Osmond, Pansy, but even that friendship is spoiled when Countess Gemini, Osmond’s sister, reveals the child’s true parentage. Isabel finally breaks free of Osmond and returns to Ralph’s bedside, where, while breathing his last, they …
Teresa B. <O’[email protected]>
User Reviews: "Portrait of a Lady" is one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a while. The acting is superb. The cinematography, well executed. The film, a stunning period piece from the book of the same title, is thoughtful and bittersweet, but full of hope. This fabulous film from director Jane Campion is one of few that have made me weep with tears of mingled joy and sadness. Nicole Kidman gives an oscar-worthy performance, playing the independent, strong-minded Isabel Archer who becomes trapped in a stifling marriage, with admirers around her at every corner to remind her of her bad decision, while her personality slowly wilts and fades. John Malcovitch plays her cruel and controlling husband, and is absolutely fascinating to watch as he subtly bends Isabel to his will. Viggo Mortensen, in one of his best performances, is in his element as the kind and loving admirerer of Isabel, Caspar Goodwood. Isabel’s future lies in her own hands, if she has the courage to take a chance. "Portrait of a Lady" is a fascinating and riveting film, full of deep emotions that will move and touch you. A wonderful film that is sublime in all ways possible.