The White Countess Reviews

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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+

Empire Magazine
April 1, 2006
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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
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
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
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
February 3, 2006
Poor Ralph Fiennes, who's so good at the unemotional-prick part that you're never really sure whether you want to see Jackson end up happy, or whether it might be more interesting, from a movie-snob perspective, to see what Fiennes might do with the miser
Laura Kelly
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 27, 2006
... The White Countess is gorgeous, consummately acted, emotionally rich, with a wealth of ideas.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
January 27, 2006
The White Countess, although it has its share of Masterpiece Theatre moments, is another film to remind us just how cosmopolitan is the Merchant-Ivory filmography.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
January 21, 2006
The White Countess may not be the best of the Merchant Ivory films ... but it boasts high production values, including fine acting all around and lovely cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Yiu-Fai Lai.
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
January 20, 2006
A rewarding close to the Merchant Ivory oeuvre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 19, 2006
So powerful is Fiennes that his performance carries the last act of an overlong film that is not as shapely as we've come to expect from Merchant and Ivory.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 13, 2006
The White Countess is never less than lovely to look at, and sometimes much more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
January 13, 2006
This is Merchant-Ivory's kind of showmanship, the unflashy adult variety of movie magic that they made their hallmark.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune
January 13, 2006
The Merchant-Ivory team ended last year when producer Ismail Merchant died on May 25. The White Countess is a very fine way to sign off on their lineage of measured, literary, often past-bound films.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Les Wright
culturevulture.net
January 13, 2006
Merchant and Ivory paint a large, brilliant, detailed canvas.
Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
August 16, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald
May 6, 2006
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
April 1, 2006

BBC.com
March 21, 2006
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 11, 2006
Top Critic

Time Out
February 9, 2006
Top Critic

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 4, 2006

Baltimore Sun
January 28, 2006

Boston Phoenix
January 14, 2006
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