The Wings of the Dove - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wings of the Dove Reviews

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½ September 3, 2015
The Wings of the Dove is a perfect example of a film that would've been better served with a less conventional approach that focused on delineating the emotional turmoil these characters put themselves through instead of lavishing in its period trappings. As it stands, it's mostly well-done, although it doesn't get truly compelling until the killer ending that prioritizes the character instead of the visual, pushing its performers to vulnerable territory that yields much more rewarding results.
April 21, 2015
The Wings of the Dove is an okay. It is about an impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover. Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Iain Softley did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and romance.
February 18, 2015
I love a good, taut sexual Bonham Carter drama-period piece just like the next person, but this movie felt a bit stilted to me at times. Part of that stiltedness which also lent itself to making the film seem formulaic, is probably due to the fact that it's a James novel. When I am really enveloped by a movie, I can watch it from beginning to end without any issues, but with this movie, I just couldn't seem to muster up enough enthusiasm for it to keep it watching it continuously, so there was a bit of stopping and starting before I finally made it to the end of the movie. I am also quite accepting of slower paced movies, and actually enjoy them most of them time, but again with this movie, it was moved like molasses.
June 27, 2014
An intriguing story with strong performances and visuals.
December 30, 2013
This is a beautifully shot period drama that places Helena Bonham Carter in that early 20th century environment in which she seems really comfortable. She play Kate, a young woman who is in love with a penniless journalist, Merton played by Linus Roache. Kate is the ward of her glamourous, monied aunt who is determined that Kate will make a good match and marry into a wealthy, titled family. Into this mix comes Millie, an orphaned American heiress on her way to Venice. Millie is desperately ill and, after noticing her attraction to Merton, Kate begins to hatch a cruel, devious plot. The period feel of this film is terrific and it is great to see scenes set on the 1900s London Underground as well as those in Venice. You get a real sense of the society that is in a transition from the uptight Victorian age to the more liberated Edwardian era. There's great play made of the fashions in clothes and art together with the changes in science and technology which I have seldom seen better portrayed than here. The plot is something of a slow burn, but I think in this case, it really works that way as the schemes, plots, jealousies and mistrusts begin to show and the the lives of the protagonists are tragically interwoven. I don't think I'm giving anything way by saying that there's not a nice, neat happy ending. This is based on a novel by Henry James after all. But there's an opulent, romantic feel to this production that makes it a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the spite and jealousy prove a little less sugary than most films if this genre.
December 8, 2013
It was ok... just didn't really go anywhere and the characters weren't interesting enough to keep my attention.
½ October 9, 2013
Well made and superbly acted but ultimately unsatisfying!
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2013
Helena Bonham Carter back in a period piece that's worthy of note due to her playing a contemptuous schemer
September 26, 2013
This is very sumptuous to look at with lovely shots of Venice and plush interiors. Helena Bonham-Carter's character is by far my favourite. It was quite interesting seeing a young Elizabeth McGovern, who is better known in Downton Abbey now. I've never read Henry James before, always believing his writing to be rather difficult to understand, but I'm certainly thinking about giving him another go now.
½ July 10, 2013
A vibrantly made film that captures the heart of this James novel.
April 27, 2013
A visually stunning film with an Oscar worthy performance by Helena Bonham Carter! The plot however is pretty annoying with wanting to be the man she loves, Not a great film but very powerful and emotional. My grade=86%(B+)
½ April 24, 2013
Emotionally unsatisfying. A cautionary tale that is far too reliant on sentiment when its story, script, and performances simply are not emotionally compelling.
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2013
Solidly filmed, this movie suffers from the great plague of the period piece - how to make the damn thing interesting. Unfortunately Sofftley never does and we are lulled into a well acted malaise.
July 18, 2012
Solid film, though the ending is a bit predictable. The last scene with Merton and Kate stuck with me--so little passion but yet so much at the same time.
½ June 30, 2012
"Every time she smiles, remember that I love you more. " --- Kate (Bonham-Carter).

Classic story of star-crossed lovers with all the drama and a zinger of a twist in the end. Awesome cast and splendid outcome....I loved the irony. The talented cast was flawless and played all their parts beautifully. I always love Helena and adamantly watch almost every film she does but I'm starting to be a fan of Charlotte Rampling (who plays Aunt Maud) too. She is simply brilliant. The location was enchanting and makes me long to pay it a visit in the future......oh, if only I was a bored heiress with nothing better to do too.....some day, maybe some day.
April 21, 2012
If you want to see some of the most beautiful cinematic shots of Venice, watch this great movie. This is an excellent adaptation of a Henry James novel. The point of the story is conveyed in a very subtle way
March 25, 2012
A British period drama cannot be a bad alternative for a flushing upsurge of my Febiofest movie-goers' schedule. Nominated for 4 Oscars (Leading Actress, Cinematography, Costume and Adapted Screenplay), TWOTD represents a paradigmatic melodrama study of love, conspiracy, betrayal and passion, meanwhile mildly bashes the mercenary vanity then, all converges to a superior satisfactory coda.

Venice part is memorably shot as an enchanting last journey to enjoy the fullest of one's life, an engaging score from Edward Shearmur firstly accompanies the film with a soothing pace, then adheres to the dramatic rotation aptly all the way along.

The most striking caliber of the film is undisputedly the acting stretch, Helena Bonham Carter is magnetically absorbing in her puberty of mixing brisk gal, smart aleck manipulator and sophisticated lovelorn victim, her career-best so far. A terrifically undervalued Alison Elliott radiates an unassumingly captivating rendition with both vulnerability and playfulness (she and Helena currently end up No. 2 and No. 1 in my Oscar chart for supporting and leading actress respectively). To juggle with these two vehement lovebirds, Linus Roache (the alien form THE FORGOTTEN 2005) may be tread the water a little bit frivolously, with a moral criterion swinging back and forth ambiguously, he tackles the most tricky part heedfully. The nudity scene near its finale is theatrically robust in delivering a love-lost denouement and generates poignant pathos. The minor satellites revolving around are all British old hands, Rampling. Gambon are too skimpy on screen, while McGovern's sedately elegant attendance is never histrionic.

Adapted from Henry James' novel of the the same name, this Neo-classical piece has an imposing buzz on its own merit, some might deem it a shad mawkish, but I'm confidently not among that breed.
January 12, 2012
Beautifully shot movie about affairs and jealousy. Bonham Carter plays the though role of a lover who sets an affair for her lover in order to achieve money which would make it possible for the two lovers to be together. But as hard as it's to observe her lover with another woman, she struggles to keep up with the scenario, not knowing how far she can bear a jealous heart.
Recommended if you're a fan of slow dramas and old-fashioned costumes.
½ December 24, 2011
Lovely romantic period drama
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