List Film

The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth
  • 2000
  • UK
  • 140 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Terence Davies
  • Written by: Edith Wharton (novel), Terence Davies (screenplay)
  • Cast: Gillian Anderson, Laura Linney, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony LaPaglia, Terry Kinney, Elizabeth McGovern, and Eric Stoltz

Davies' superb screen adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, filmed in Glasgow, makes it clear that beneath the well-bred skin of New York society at the turn of the century lurks a remorseless savagery. Socialite Lily Bart (the excellent Anderson) would appear to be a natural survivor, but through a combination of naivety, folly and bad timing she is brought low. Davies charts Lily's tragic descent with formal rigour, framing scenes with self-consciously painterly tableaux that evoke the era's fashionable artists. But, as with his other work, aesthetic control goes hand in glove with a deep compassion.

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