The House of Mirth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The House of Mirth Reviews

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½ November 7, 2015
Terence Davies knows how to delve into the darkest recesses of the mind, namely those parts that house shame, something he knows well from his own experience with society's oppressive social mores in regards to his sexuality. That shame permeates even the most hopeful of his works; The House of Mirth chokes out the possibility of this hope mercilessly.

His stylistic tendencies are here (his roaming camera signaling major shifts through transitionary fade-ins that are absolutely gorgeous, his deliberate pace allowing for immense emotional investment, his eye for slightly-theatrical detail resulting in an impeccable production), as are the stellar performances he regularly draws out of his actors. Anderson's turn as Lily Bart is heartbreaking to the point that it almost certainly deserved an Oscar (but went unrecognized entirely) and the rest of the cast more than hold their own. But what's most important is its commitment to its central tragedy, never pulling punches, quietly posturing its elegant verbal sparring matches so as to seem minor when in actuality they hold grave consequences. This subtlety extends to its social commentary, which hints at the systematic oppression of women without saying anything outright, a strategy also implemented in regards to its powerful statement about society's tendency to reward selfishness and harshly punish righteous choices.

The House of Mirth is a very old-fashioned, very deliberate film practically designed to makes an audience quaintly clutch their pearls in unison, but this doesn't take away from its near-perfect construction, its powerful emotional impact, and its deeply cynical but entirely honest message about the cruelty of life. The clock ticks on for all of us, until it doesn't; in a genre that so often choses tidy endings involving weddings and funerals, this film stands out for its dedication to such an unsavory central sentiment.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2014
I don't know what Lily ever saw in Seldon. She is a frustrating heroine because she can't make the brave choices, like marrying Rosedale, or just not paying back the debt to Trenor. I guess the point is there are bigger structural forces at play here than Lily's choices and probably no matter what she did, she'd still be doomed. Don't watch this if you are down on your luck and tend to fall in love with the wrong men.
November 13, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
½ October 22, 2014
Terence Davies's The House of Mirth is a rigorously elegant adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, and unlike in some other Davies movies, the rigor here doesn't turn into rigor mortis.
May 24, 2014
A truly haunting, elegant, tragic, modern and perfectly directed adaptation of the Edith Wharton classic. The fact that Gillian Anderson didn't win (or was even nominated for) an Oscar for this performance is an embarrassment. She's just PERFECT in this difficult and challenging role. I highly recommend it.
May 1, 2014
It's not the movie's fault. I gave the book one star. At least the movie kept up the pace as the book couldn't. I just don't find Lily Bart in any way sympathetic. She strikes me as the original run away bride. Gillian did her best. Her delivery didn't do it for me. But, her last scene with Selden ALMOST moved me; she put everything into it. Lily is definitely tragic, just not a heroine. Poor motherless girl is all I could think. If Elizabeth Bennet's mother had been there...If Lily could tell her friends from her enemies....If Lily listened to Rosedale. The list goes on and on.
One star for the pacing. One star for the visuals. ALL those clothes on a yacht! Can you imagine? Why go sailing?? geez
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2014
Good and beautiful to look at but so depressing!
November 21, 2013
Que bien ejecutada, que bien interpretada, que historia mas interesante y a la vez sutil, donde cada personaje en un mundo lleno de intereses e intenciones, vacuo de sentiminetos... que bien logrado! Me ha atrapado desde los primeros minutos, hipnotizando mi atencion por su cadencia monocorde en los dialogos, secuencias, ritmo, incluso con un intermedio que hace pensar en una composicion musical u obra de teatro. A la par que una direccion artistica bien lograda, justa; pelicula de epoca elegante, bella en imagenes, sugerentes, pero sin regodearse en la superficie, sino para contrastar que tras esa belleza se esconden almas duras, huecas, frias como el hielo, donde el sentimineto humano se encorseta, aflorando la mas absurda pose alimentada de prejucios y de establishment a toda costa. Tiene mucho y me encantaria volver a verla.
March 11, 2013
Slow gin fizz humour! drier than new sneakers on a freshly waxed junior high basketball court! compare to: 5/3 of an ONway adjuvant jury-bond. callOLFAR
November 10, 2012
Gillian Anderson's performance (from TV's The X-files) is a tour de force in this beautifully lensed and well-acted Edith Wharton's adaptation about a gold-digging woman's struggle to stay afloat in a treacherous society where money talks and love is a cheap commodity.
½ September 20, 2012
One of the best period pieces you haven't seen.
September 19, 2012
the adaptation of edith wharton's novel was really good. the screenplay was nice, it was well-casted and gillian anderson was really great in this film. cinematography was good too, same with the production design, editing and scoring of this film. its kinda tragic but it's really worth watching.
½ August 23, 2012
The House of Mirth offers no hope at the end of a miserable tunnel...
While were accustomed to happy endings, your best suited with a disney movie instead. The best selling novel by Edith Wharton depictes high society during the turn of the century, and its woes of courtship mishabs. Gillian Anderson Sparkles and shines with her memoriable role as Lily.
July 28, 2012
A relatively unheralded masterpiece. It is difficult to give Gillian Anderson's performance its due without veering into hyperbole.
June 9, 2012
Gillian Anderson's performance (from TV's The X-files) is a tour de force in this beautifully lensed and well-acted Edith Wharton's adaptation about a gold-digging woman's struggle to stay afloat in a treacherous society where money talks and love is a cheap commodity.
March 24, 2012
I never saw Gillian Anderson play anyone else besides Dana Scully, so it took about 15 minutes to get accustomed to her as Lily Bart. Once I got over that hurdle, it was almost a revelation seeing her in this picture. A few roles are still miscast, but it's not enough to sink an otherwise excellent adaptation. Beautifully shot and often moving to a wonderfully, dreamy cadence, it's also a devastating story where the social mores of high society justify callousness and cruelty.
½ March 13, 2012
A good adaptation, works mostly because of Gillian Anderson's magnificent performance
February 25, 2012
This flick is on my list of top ten flicks you must see. Ms. Anderson does an exceptional job as the lovely Lilly Bart. Thanks Edith!
½ February 11, 2012
I loved this adaptation
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