The Wings of the Dove
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.