The Wings of the Dove Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on the Henry James novel, this is a provocative tale of passion, temptation, and greed. (Buena Vista Entertainment)
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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

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 Collapse