Owen Gleiberman
November 14, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Wings of the Dove

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Elliott, Philip Glass, James Horner, Ian Softley, Charlotte Rampling, Linus Roache, Michael Gambon
genre
Romance, Drama

We gave it an A

THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (R) This adaptation of Henry James’ 1902 novel has a lush yet aching beauty. In London in 1910, Kate (Helena Bonham Carter), the ward of her manipulative rich aunt, is enmeshed in a passionate but secret involvement with Merton (Linus Roache), a handsome journalist possessed of everything but money. When Kate befriends Millie (Alison Elliott), an American heiress who, it turns out, is dying, a scheme forms: Kate and Merton will accompany Millie to Venice, where Merton will woo the poor woman, ultimately winning her fortune. The way this plays out is at once tender and cruel, ineffable and heartbreaking. Undeniably a ”modernization” of James, The Wings of the Dove is also a great film — the finest ”Masterpiece Theatre movie” ever made. A

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