Title: The Wings of the Dove
Country: UK, USA
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Iain Softley
Music: Ed Shearmur
Cinematography: Eduardo Serra
Helena Bonham Carter
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.