More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.16

Awesome: 10.53%
Worth A Look: 36.84%
Average: 10.53%
Pretty Bad42.11%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 7 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Lu Over the Wall by Jay Seaver

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by alejandroariera

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Peter Sobczynski

Justice League by Peter Sobczynski

Mumon: The Land of Stealth by Jay Seaver

Geek Girls by Jay Seaver

Fashionista by Jay Seaver

I Love You, Daddy by Rob Gonsalves

Jailbreak by Jay Seaver

Attraction (2017) by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Golden Bowl, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

"Visible flaws"
2 stars

Merchant Ivoryís The Golden Bowl is based on Henry Jamesí 1904 novel about a quartet of foreigners in England, in the early 1900s.

Adam Verver (Nick Nolte) is an American billionaire and art collector. He and his daughter Maggie (Kate Beckinsale) have cared for each other since the death of his wife. Maggie is about to marry an impoverished Italian prince, Amerigo (a heavily-accented Jeremy Northam). She is unaware that Amerigo had a romantic liaison with an American friend of hers - Charlotte (Uma Thurman) - prior to their marriage. Maggie encourages Charlotte to spend time with her lonely father, and they soon marry. Father and daughter return to each otherís side, unwittingly pushing their respective partners - Charlotte and Amerigo - back together.

Collaborating producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and adaptor Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (A Room With A View, Howards End, The Remains of the Day) have tackled James before - The Europeans in 1979 and The Bostonians in 1984 - and they have no trouble replicating the complex character dynamic of the novel. But the film shares the same difficulty as the book. The characters are established early (within the first 40 minutes) and fail to develop significantly over the course of the story. Nor does James add any significant secondary characters, besides Anjelica Hustonís gossipy Fanny Assingham and her droll husband (a delightful James Fox).

The Golden Bowl competed in Cannes in 2000. Itís taken 18 months to reach Australian shores partly because the original distributor, Miramax, dropped it after Ivory refused to trim the length from its present two hours and fifteen minutes. Miramax were wise to stick to their guns - The Golden Bowl could do with cutting.

A series of grand and stately English homes provide the settings. They are impeccably framed by cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts, and supported by composer Richard Robbins. But they soon become monotonous when nothing much occurs between their walls. The filmmakers err by making Charlotte a villain, and Thurman doesnít help by shamelessly overplaying her additional scenes of deviousness and hysteria.

The filmís other chief mistake is over-explaining the novelís symbolism. James was content with the golden bowl of the title as his chief metaphor. An expensive gift of apparently flawless beauty, it contains a crack - initially imperceptible to all but Amerigo - that considerably reduces its value. Ivory includes three scenes where the significance of the bowl in relation to different characters is explained, and proceeds to draw further parallels about Charlotteís infidelity using art, history and costume.

Itís tiresome and redundant, and gives the strong impression of filmmakers who have lost control of their material, or become unsure of what attracted them to it in the first place.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5338&reviewer=104
originally posted: 01/14/02 13:55:56
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

11/22/14 PAUL SHORTT ELEGANT PERIOD DRAMA WITH GREAT PERFORMANCES 3 stars
3/29/10 Bubina Thurman terribly unconvincing. Dialogue sounded phony. Could barely watch it. 2 stars
7/08/06 NS good 4 stars
6/21/02 hum should be something special but casting is wrong and so much feels forced 3 stars
12/27/01 Belinda Way too long and all the wrong cast. 2 stars
9/25/01 masin wolliams a slow yet very complex story that is very moving. classic moviemaking. 5 stars
6/15/01 doug fuckin sweeett 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  27-Apr-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2001 (M)




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast