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The Wings of the Dove

Brevitas

By Lynn Y. Lee

In a canny and generally successful appeal to the youth market, this film streamlines Henry James's notoriously dense novel, bringing its melodramatic and erotic undertones to the forefront. A well-bred but dowerless English girl (Helena Bonham-Carter), secretly engaged to an equally impecunious journalist (Linus Roache), persuades her lover to court a young American heiress dying of TB (Alison Elliott). The plot thickens as the three take a pleasure trip to Venice. The scenes in Italy are lovely, and the three stars give superb performances--esp. Bonham-Carter, who brilliantly captures the complexities of her character.

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