The House of Mirth (2000)



Critic Consensus: Despite being a period piece, The House of Mirth's depiction of social cruelty still feels chilling and relevant for today.

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Movie Info

Adapted from the Edith Wharton novel, the story is a sustained snarl of rage at a world where women are overwhelmingly dependent on men for their livelihoods and in which one malicious whisper can destroy a life. Lily Bart is a ravishing socialite at the height of her success who quickly discovers the precariousness of her position when her beauty and charm start attracting unwelcome interest and jealousy. Torn between her heart and her head, Lily always seems to do the right thing at the wrong time. She seeks a wealthy husband and in trying to conform to social expectations, she misses her chance for real love with Lawrence Selden. Her quest for a husband comes to a scandalous end when she is falsely accused of having an affair with a married man and is rejected by society and her friends.
PG (for thematic material)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Laura Linney
as Bertha Dorset
Gillian Anderson
as Lily Bart
Eric Stoltz
as Lawrence Selden
Dan Aykroyd
as Gus Trenor
Elizabeth McGovern
as Carry Fisher
Anthony LaPaglia
as Sim Rosedale
Terry Kinney
as George Dorset
Jodhi May
as Grace Stepney
Eleanor Bron
as Mrs. Peniston
Mark Dymond
as Paul Morpeth
Pearce Quigley
as Percy Gryce
Penny Downie
as Judy Trenor
Mary MacLeod
as Mrs. Haffen
Lorelei King
as Mrs. Hatch
Helen Coker
as Evie Van Osburgh
Ralph Riach
as Lord Hubert Dacy
Claire Higgins
as Mrs. Bry
Anne Marie Timoney
as Miss Haines
Brian Pettifer
as Mr. Bry
Serena Gordon
as Gwen Stepney
Linda Marlowe
as Madame Regina
David Ashton
as Lawyer
Trevor Martin
as Jennings the Butler
Roy Sampson
as Dorset Butler
Morag Siller
as Millinery Girl
Alyxis Daly
as Landlady
Philippe De Grossouvre
as Ned Silverton
Lesley Harcourt
as Mattie Gormer
Paul Venables
as Jack Stepney
Joanne Bett
as Millinery Girl
Pamela Dwyer
as Edith Fisher
Kate Wooldridge
as Parlour Maid
Mary Goonan
as Millinery Girl
Gowan Calder
as Millinery Girl
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Critic Reviews for The House of Mirth

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (32)

Davies breathes fresh air through the wax museum corridors of the costume drama by finding behind all that stiff-spined pomp and circumstance the most venal of impulses.

April 6, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

This is very much Anderson's film.

April 6, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It has such an eerie contemporary resonance that you nearly forget about the horses and corsets and lamplight.

April 6, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Both literate and literary, it is serious without being humorless.

March 16, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Lovely to look at.

February 12, 2001
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

I can't recall another movie that cries out so incessantly for running commentary.

February 7, 2001
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The House of Mirth

Good and beautiful to look at but so depressing!

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


it's a bit stiff in the execution and the bulk of it's power derives from wharton's novel: a woman of independent ideas is crushed by the 19th century. gillian anderson well deserves all the praise; however eric stoltz and dan ackroyd just seem odd in this setting. i cried a lil bit. love costume drama. i'm such a girl :P

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Gillian Anderson is a perfect Lily Bart, because we realize that though the narrative is ostensibly centered on her, her blandness really lets the supporting cast shine (particularly the Lovely Laura Linney!).

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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