Set in the opulent social scene of England and Italy between 1903 and 1909, the story of two marriages dangerously intertwined in a web of secrets and lies. Adam Verner, an American billionaire art collector, and his sheltered daughter Maggie marry, only to discover that their respective spouses--the beautiful American expatriate Charlotte Stant and the illustrious but bankrupt Italian aristocrat Prince Amerigo-are romantically entangled with one another.
This meticulous, stately Merchant Ivory screen translation of Henry James's great 1904 novel emphasizes the book's tremulously ambivalent vision of the emerging American century. If the psychological intricacies of James's interior monologues can't fully be translated into dialogue without its sounding a bit like a soap opera, the story of two couples' intertwined secrets and lies, which destroy their harmony, conveys a mournful sense of loss. Nick Nolte and Kate Beckinsale are the art-collecting robber baron Adam Verver and his beloved daughter, Maggie, and Uma Thurman (who is too gawky) and Jeremy Northam their impoverished spouses, Charlotte Stant and Prince Amerigo, who marry for money and betray their mates. -- Stephen Holden
2001-04-27 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of The Golden Bowl