The White Countess Reviews

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Brandon Fibbs
BrandonFibbs.com
February 28, 2008
While a beautiful and moving film, The White Countess, sadly falls short of being a great one because it never allows us into the hearts of its primary protagonists.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/11
David Noh
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
[Ivory] takes a tired, cliché-ridden, nostalgic screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro and layers on the ennui.
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
May 31, 2006
Esteticamente impecável (como todas as produções Merchant Ivory), o filme falha do ponto de vista narrativo, revelando-se, como seus personagens, excessivamente frio e emocionalmente distante.
| Original Score: 2/5
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
April 22, 2006
James Ivory has cast Britain's acting aristocracy to play post-Revolution Russian aristocracy, which brings much gravitas and many subtle performance highs to this drawn out story set in 1936/7 Shanghai.
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
April 19, 2006
It has an emotional payoff. It isn't much, but by Merchant-Ivory standards it is an orgasm of raw emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Lawrence Toppman
Charlotte Observer
February 24, 2006
Though [Merchant-Ivory] hadn't made a first-rate film since The Remains of the Day in 1993, there was always a chance they'd hit one last pitch out of the park. The White Countess, their final pairing, is just a bloop single.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
February 23, 2006
One of the great partnerships in movies ends not with a bang or even a whimper, but with a stifled yawn.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
February 22, 2006
A middling example of the sort of tony projects upon which [Merchant and Ivory] built their reputations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
February 22, 2006
A beautiful movie with an intriguing central theme and cast that is far easier to admire than to actually like.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
February 17, 2006
A little judicious editing might have made it more effective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
February 17, 2006
James Ivory would have done well to take his from "Casablanca" since that similarly themed film achieves everything that this film aspires to but ultimately fails at.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune
February 17, 2006
A little too emotionally repressed to suit its melodrama -- imagine Casablanca with Paul Henried miscast in the Bogart role.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
February 17, 2006
The White Countess is the last Merchant-Ivory and embodies most of the virtues of the brand ...
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
John Wirt
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
February 17, 2006
A worthy final collaboration from James Ivory and his late partner, Ismail Merchant.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
February 11, 2006
By sheer willpower (and some of the best art direction of this year or any other), this is a fitting, poetic epitaph to the life and career of Ismail Merchant.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jack Garner
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
February 10, 2006
Merchant Ivory places its final, famous imprimatur on a worthy film.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 10, 2006
It's a pretty journey, even if it is far too talky and emotionally distant to really work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
February 10, 2006
The symbolism of the situation -- a blind diplomat trying, and once again failing, to stage-manage international harmony -- seems like something from a socially conscious play of the 1930s.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly
February 9, 2006
The final collaboration between Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, The White Countess, isn't their absolute best effort, but as swan songs go, it's still a sight more auspicious than the last-ever Simpson-Bruckheimer picture.
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 3, 2006
A tale well told, a look at history in the making and those being shaken in the process.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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