Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. The difference is that Iain Softley, who directed Wings of the Dove, and his screenwriter Hossein Amini, who wrote the overlooked "Jude," are keen observers who bring a wealth of ambiguity and mystery to the surface -- and release their characters from the cliches that easily could have swallowed them.
  2. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    90
    The rigid distinction usually made between a terrific outfit movie and cinematic art is just another barrier washed away in the overflowing riches of The Wings of the Dove.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    90
    Seductive from the start, the film grows more stimulating and involving as it goes along because these three are original people who mate and recombine unpredictably.
  4. Few films have explored the human face this searchingly and found such complex psychological topography. That's why The Wings of the Dove succeeds where virtually every other film translation of a James novel has stumbled.
  5. 88
    In The Wings of the Dove, there is a fascination in the way smart people try to figure one another out. The film is acted with great tenderness.
  6. 88
    The Wings of the Dove is not a happy tale, but it is a vivid and unforgettable one, featuring multi- dimensional characters, beautiful cinematography, impressive set design, and accomplished acting.
  7. 80
    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.
  8. Wings of the Dove is richly appointed and beautifully mounted, with lush location shooting in Venice given the place of honor.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    80
    Although the film is clumsy and overheated at times, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful films of the year. Set in turn-of-the-century London and Venice, its rich colors and opulent textures will linger long after the plot has been forgotten.
  10. Thoughtfully directed by the versatile Iain Softely from Hossein Amini's screenplay, which reduces James's intricately structured narrative to feature-film scale without losing the book's rueful psychological tone.
  11. Softley and Amini say they consciously viewed Kate as a film noir kind of heroine, a beauty leading a good man astray. And that, added to the setting of the second half of the movie in canal-riven Venice, gives the story the kind of moral haziness that verges on Thomas Mann territory.
  12. 70
    Henry James's novel of social-climbing, forbidden love, friendship and betrayal, given a lush treatment that neglects neither the elaborate period trappings nor the story's intensely contemporary emotional underpinnings.
  13. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    70
    Visually the film impresses, with Eduardo Serra's widescreen camerawork evocatively capturing the streets and interiors of London and a rain-swept Venice. Pacing is crisp, with little time wasted on inessentials. Dialogue is often caustically witty, and the relations clearly delineated.
  14. Softley worries a bit, quite unnecessarily, about keeping our interest; so he lays in a number of overhead shots and considerable zooming at the start of sequences. But his work with his cast is sure, except for the miscast Elliott, and he generates the right internal heat between the lovers.
  15. 67
    Achingly gorgeous in almost all respects, the film soars in its period depiction of turn-of-the-century London (and later in Venice, as well), from costuming to cinematography on down.
  16. 60
    Softley starts out a little awkwardly, as he tries to capture turn-of-the-century flux by opening several London scenes from disorienting, too-obvious camera positions.
  17. The film has little to do with art, intelligence, or values (except for the kind found in department stores).
  18. Reviewed by: Alex Ross
    0
    The movie is a modern facsimile of the potboilers James transfigured. A great movie may yet be made of James, but it will have to be done by someone who has read him.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    A British period drama cannot be a bad alternative for a flushing upsurge of my Febiofest movie-goers' schedule. Nominated for 4 Oscars (Leading Actress, Cinematography, Costume and Adapted Screenplay), TWOTD represents a paradigmatic melodrama study of love, conspiracy, betrayal and passion, meanwhile mildly bashes the mercenary vanity then, all converges to a superior satisfactory coda. Venice part is memorably shot as an enchanting last journey to enjoy the fullest of one's life, an engaging score from Edward Shearmur firstly accompanies the film with a soothing pace, then adheres to the dramatic rotation aptly all the way along. The most striking caliber of the film is undisputedly the acting stretch, Helena Bonham Carter is magnetically absorbing in her puberty of mixing brisk gal, smart aleck manipulator and sophisticated lovelorn victim, her career-best so far. A terrifically undervalued Alison Elliott radiates an unassumingly captivating rendition with both vulnerability and playfulness (she and Helena currently end up No. 2 and No. 1 in my Oscar chart for supporting and leading actress respectively). To juggle with these two vehement lovebirds, Linus Roache (the alien form THE FORGOTTEN 2005) may be tread the water a little bit frivolously, with a moral criterion swinging back and forth ambiguously, he tackles the most tricky part heedfully. The nudity scene near its finale is theatrically robust in delivering a love-lost denouement and generates poignant pathos. The minor satellites revolving around are all British old hands, Rampling. Gambon are too skimpy on screen, while McGovernâ Full Review »