The Wings Of The Dove
Hot literary source of the moment Henry James receives his second film treatment of the season with this adaptation of his 1902 novel The Wings Of The Dove. Helena Bonham Carter plays a young woman of class, in love with a journalist (Priest's Linus Roache) who is beneath her socially. Faced with disinheritance if she follows her heart, Carter develops a scheme involving her new, dying, American friend (Allison Elliot) and her friend's money. What sounds like an Edwardian noir tale of high-class grifters is actually a slow, somber, complex, and involving examination of friendship and shifting morality. The acting is powerful enough to compensate for the absence of James' exceedingly detailed prose: Carter is especially notable when you consider that too often in the past, she seems to have been trotted out simply because she's used to the corsets. The Wings Of The Dove is thought-provoking in a full and lasting sense; it'll stay with you long after its dubious final scene.