The Portrait of a Lady - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Portrait of a Lady Reviews

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January 15, 2016
I don't remember the novel well enough to say if this was a good adaptation. I I found the movie interesting though drawn out, with some innovative filming bits in it.
March 20, 2015
well crafted & acted period pic.
January 4, 2015
WOW......WOW.....WOW.....SO SO SO SO SO BAD......MAN THIS IS SUCH AN AWFUL MESSY MESSY MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SO SO SO SO DREADFUL, IT IS SUCH AN AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SO SO SO AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SO SO SO DREADFUL, IT IS SO SO SO DREADFUL, IT IS SUCH AN AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH IT IS SUCH AN AWFUL MESSY MOVIE 2 WATCH.......WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE......MAN THIS IS SUCH AN AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SUCH AN AWFUL MESSY MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SUCH AN AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH, IT IS SUCH A BAD MOVIE 2 WATCH, JUST AVOID THIS MOVIE AT ALL IT IS SUCH A BAD MOVIE 2 WATCH, JUST AVOID THIS MOVIE AT ALL COSTS IT IS THAT BAD.....JUST DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE IT IS SO AWFUL.......ITS GOT A GOOD SOUNDTRACK THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.....BUT MAN THIS MOVIE IS SO SO SO AWFUL 2 WATCH....THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS THE SOUNDTRACK, BUT MAN THIS IS SUCH AN AWFUL MOVIE 2 WATCH......
October 14, 2014
Slow and lacks energy.
½ June 24, 2014
It really seems like it should work, but it really doesn't.
May 24, 2014
A criminally underrated film that takes commending (and successful) risks in adapting a classic Henry James novel. The film's both heartbreaking and brilliantly acted / directed by Jane Campion, Nicole Kidman and Barbara Hershey. Really... An Incredible work that needs to be rescued and recontextualized from its original (botched) release by the now defunct Gramercy Pictures, a Polygram/Universal company. (Also check Wojciech Kilar's score: it's mindblowingly beautiful.)
½ May 17, 2014
I love well done Period Movies, Nicole is Lovely in this
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2014
"The Portrait of a Lady" starts with Isabel Archer(Nicole Kidman) rejecting the proposal of the super wealthy Lord Warburton(Richard E. Grant). Next, it is Caspar Goodwood(Viggo Mortensen) who was reinserted into her path by Isabelle's supposed friend Henrietta(Mary-Louise Parker) only to be turned down. Seeing Isabelle's options disappear and fearing for her future, her cousin Ralph(Martin Donovan) comes up with an alternate plan that involves his dying father(John Gielgud).

"The Portrait of a Lady" is a beautifully rendered period piece. So, it might come as a surprise that director Jane Campion gets lost not so much in the details but in its retrograde politics and customs, using a modern day prologue to reinforce her questioning the choices that women make. On a different tact, Campion somehow manages to restrain her eclectic cast in order to not outshine the movie's supposed star and manages to only bring them down to Kidman's unresponsive level, and sucking some of the oxygen out of the room in the bargain.

Speaking of the eclectic cast, Mary-Louise Parker and John Malkovich(who has somehow never played Lenin) show up again in the "Red" films while Parker and Martin Donovan star again together in "Pipe Dream" and appearing together in the televsion series "Weeds."
April 10, 2014
Boring and pretentious.
April 1, 2014
Worked at times for me as a very subtextual doomed romance between two women, but it's mostly not great. I haven't read the book and yet I still get the feeling that too much was removed to keep the plot compelling; there's a very boring section near the middle where Malkovich, who seems to have no motivation but to be evil, breaks down the formerly strong Kidman character, who seems to have no motivation but to be a victim. Oh, and what the fuck was with the opening credits? That was embarrassing!
½ February 26, 2014
Watched this once and found it highly unmemorable.
September 2, 2013
With the presence of Jane Campion, you could expect this film to be poetic and with dazzling costumes. Indeed, with the free-spirited Nicole Kidman as Isabel, the leading character, the film successfully crafted the image of the British society of that era. But indeed, why would there be people like Barbara Hershey and John Malkovich who are committed to corrupt others? Do they have some better things to do rather than creating troubles to fulfill their own curiosity? Again, I couldn't have cared less as the slow pace made me bored to hell. By the way, why the hell did Jane Campion use the quick fast forward to show the nudity of Nicole Kidman?
½ August 7, 2013
A good period drama. But The Piano is still Jane Campion's strongest work. & one of the best drama's in cinema.
May 31, 2013
"Things are always different from what they might be." ???????????????????????????????????????????...????????????????????sad?
April 16, 2013
Intriguing & disturbing. Love Nicole Kidman as usual and John Malkovich is so very good at playing disturbing rolls.
March 19, 2013
Another recent TV broadcast. I loved this one. Nicole Kidman excels here, as usual. I had some reservations about John Malkovich typecast as an amoral villain, but the story is so resonant and the direction, script, photography and acting are great. Unlike 'The Last Station' this actually feels like a proper story and not just a bunch of actors going through their paces. Thank you, Henry James.
March 10, 2013
Directed by Jane Campion, who at the time had won an Oscar for her screenplay to The Piano (1993), after that, Hollywood came calling, and she was offered this adaptation of Henry James' 1881 serialised novel. Despite having an all star cast and some lovely production design, the story is a bit cold and clinical. There's no real fireworks to move it along, despite the best efforts of the cast and crew, all doing 110%. In Victorian England, American aristocrat Isabel Archer (Nicole Kidman) is a woman of independent means, who comes into money while in Europe. She had been visiting her cousin Ralph Touchett (Martin Donovan) and his elderly father (John Gielgud), the latter of whom becomes ill, and when he dies, leaves his estate to Isabel. Now with money, she looks for a husband, after rejecting proposals from Lord Warburton (Richard E. Grant) and Caspar Goodwood (Viggo Mortensen), she feels she's found the right one with American expatriate Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich), but Isabel finds herself being manipulated by Osmond's friend Madame Serena Merle (Barbara Hershey). It's well made, with a powerful lead performance by Kidman, who is perfect for this, but the film does tend to drag, and it does tend to take ages to get to the point with the plot of the antagonists. It should have been better, but it does look absolutely beautiful.
February 19, 2013
Darkand heart-wrenching. Henry James is one of the greatest author's of all time!
½ October 29, 2012
I love The Piano and Nicole Kidman so I thought I would like this from Jane Campion, but I was disappointed.
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