The Romantic Englishwoman,(Une anglaise romantique) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Romantic Englishwoman,(Une anglaise romantique) Reviews

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½ January 5, 2018
"Well, women are an occupied country."

This was a strange one. Glenda Jackson plays, as she always does well, a restless desirer - emotionally and sexually unfulfilled in the role of mother and wife - who wants to reclaim some sense of freedom but can't bring herself to abandon her son. There's a bunch of really interesting commentary on how men and their society enslave women with just enough comfort that women feel guilty wanting more. Really enjoyed how sort of throwaway character Isabel drops a whole bunch of badass knowledge on Michael Caine as he screams in her face like a busted 5 year old throwing a tantrum. Caine, a writer who is so overwhelmed with jealous suspicions about his largely innocent wife that he not only decides to write a screenplay about her cheating on him, but he also invites a total stranger into their home and shoves them together as much as he can in an attempt to catch them cheating. Then Helmut Berger acts as basically a blank catalyst, like a Germanic hustler Albert Camus just rolling with whatever life throws at him.

The top problem with the movie is that they get too lost in telling the story from Caine and Berger's point of view, when Glenda Jackson is really the only truly interesting character in the entire film. I'd be curious to see if the book is a little more fleshed out? Either way, it's definitely an interesting watch but Stoppard and Losey keep the focus too boys-club to truly get to anything emotional here.

And finally - the poster for this just has like absolutely no basis in this film and it's kind of funny. I mean, she gets naked but never like THAT. Also why in god's name would you feature Michael Caine's dumb face over Alan Delon rip-off hottie Helmut Berger???????? Buncha men making bad decisions all around with this film, man.
July 25, 2015
Opulent, gorgeous, witty, snarky, more bitter than sweet (which is fine by me) but somehow moving and tender after all. Not easy to care about a bored rich white woman, who has a nanny to take care of her child and a beautiful house and can travel anywhere...but it's Glenda Jackson! And all I have to do is observe her with keen interest and enjoy her lines; it is not necessary for me to feel for her plight. If only that were my crisis! And Michael Caine's character's jealousy is hilarious, as is his cantankerous nature and frequent state of drunkenness, which lead to very amusing horrid rudeness.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2014
In "The Romantic Englishwoman," Elizabeth(Glenda Jackson) is vacationing in Baden-Baden. While there, she has an innocent encounter with Thomas(Helmut Berger) who is there on business. Which her husband Lewis(Michael Caine), a novelist, imagines to be not-so-innocent, especially after she flies back against his explicit instructions. His worries are intensified when Thomas seeking a place to hide out after a business deal goes south travels to their house under cover of being a poet who is a fan of Lewis' novels.

"The Romantic Englishwoman" is a prime example of when very dull things happen to great actors. So much so, that they can do little with the material at hand. Admittedly, telling Thomas' story with as little as dialogue as possible is a neat touch.(And you have to admit it. Thomas does have style.) But even with such potential, the movie, not able to decide between romance, comedy, psychological drama, meta weirdness or thriller, just decides to sit there for long stretches. Maybe it would have helped if the story had started off with Lewis' first conversation with Herman(Rene Kolldehoff) as a way of introducing everybody. Maybe not.
½ December 18, 2013
This is an odd film. Glenda Jackson is superb as one would expect. And, the camera work and set design are of note. Perhaps it is Tom Stoppard's contribution as writer that keeps Joseph Losey a bit more restrained than usual. Interestingly, it is quite clear that this film is from the mid-1970's. The story is most certainly a reflection of the sexual revolution of the era. And yet, there is a strange almost old-fashioned feeling that is given. I found nothing "romantic" about this film. The title appears to be one of sarcasm taken from a rather blunt and rude statement made by Berger's character. Though this film may not truly fit in as a cinematic classic there is most certainly a memorable play of events and work by the artists involved.
November 15, 2012
Talky and not very interesting film about a cuckolded English writer.
October 19, 2012
What point was there to this film? The cast was full of good actors, but even they didn't seem interested in their characters or the storyline. If they aren't, why should we be? Some of the dialogue was occasionally god or had some wit, but not enough to carry the movie.
September 13, 2012
My very first contact with Joseph Losey‚(TM)s canon is this film adapted from Thomas Wiseman‚(TM)s eponymous novel, the reason why I selected this one purely because of its cast, namely for Glenda Jackson, the two-times Oscar winner, whose work has eluded me until now, but the film itself turns out to be a very disappointing misfire.

Speaking of the cast, Glenda Jackson has her charismatic dignity in almost every scene although regularly shoehorned between Berger‚(TM)s perpetual snug grin and Caine‚(TM)s perpetual sullen stare, and eventually cannot save the film from the mire of a psychological drama swamped with behavioural absurdities and non-consistent narrative. The fierce-looking wife with a bob cut and perfectly trimmed fringes, who is discontent with her middle-class lifestyle (her writer husband has immersed into the writer‚(TM)s block when writing a film script and becomes paranoid about her adultery in her solo trip to Baden-Baden), tries her luck to elope with a self-claimed German poet (whose real identity is only hinted by smuggling small-time drugs and cruising of elderly lonely-hearts), whom she has met before in Baden-Baden, but is there a fling between them in their previous encounter? The film never answer the question, a corny exploit being overused here.

Richard Harley‚(TM)s lyrical string score has stolen the thunder since more often than not, I am very much a visual observer than a sonic perfectionist. Also I quite prefer the slowly panning camera in carefully constructing a hunter and prey game in the beginning part in Baden-Baden to the dreadful and ostentatious meandering in the labyrinth of feigned sentimentality, claiming inane quips like ‚Englishwoman is the most romantic‚? (Berger‚(TM)s German accent is a major buzz-killer), I hope someone else could be fortunate enough to fully digest all the hocus-pocus and be grateful towards this ill-fated film adaption.
½ October 17, 2011
I got bored & couldn't watch till the end
August 14, 2011
Interesting (albeit a bit slow) Joseph Losey film where Glenda Jackson plays the wife of writer Michael Caine who in imaginine she has met someone on vacation for an affair, makes it become reality when German drug dealer Helmut Berger shows up in their lives at home. Beautiful locations and strong performances make this unusual drama worth checking out.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2011
I just can't resist the creepiness of a Helmut Berger role guided by Joseph Losey to a place where fantasy and reality collide.
½ July 31, 2011
Remarkable story about jealousy and infidelity supported by excellent performances.
½ July 4, 2011
A German gigolo (Helmut Berger) has an affinity for "The Romantic Englishwoman" Glenda Jackson, when he meets her solo in Barden-Barden. Don't ask me how but he tracks her in her bourgeous English home that she shares with her husband Michael Caine, au pair, and young son. It's unbelievable that the novelist husband gives the two opportunities for an affair, and even more unlikely, the Romantic Englishwoman abandons her bourgeous lifestyle i.e. shopping, to live a life on the lam and apparent freedom. Granted, Nice in France looks much lovelier than London.

The movie starts off slow but once the three characters are brought together, it becomes intriguing. Superb performances by Jackson, Caine and Kate Nelligan as a family friend. However, the final 1/2 hours gets too melodramatic and makes "The Romantic Englishwoman" foolish. It ends unconvincingly.
½ May 1, 2008
Quite Shakespearian, a play within a play. It's not the strongest plot, but Caine is solid enough to make it work.
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