“The Portrait of a Lady” Review

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The Portrait of a Lady (1996)

**SPOILER ALERT**

Directed by Jane Campion (‘The Piano’ (1993)), ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ is an adaptation of Henry James’s classic novel of the same name. It tells a story of a beautiful, free-thinking and intelligent young woman, Isabel Archer (Nicole Kidman) who arrives to England from the US with her aunt, Mrs. Touchett, to “explore the world”. While on her quest, Miss Archer rejects promising marriage proposals coming from a wealthy American tradesman, Caspar Goodwood (Viggo Mortensen), and an immensely rich heir, Lord Warburton (Richard E. Grant). Miss Archer takes these decisions because she is devoted to the ideals of personal freedom and a ceaseless pursuit of knowledge.Through the help of her faithful, but fragile cousin, Ralph (Martin Donovan), Isabel is made rich, and is then free to pursue her dreams of independence. However, when Isabel strikes up friendship with amiable and cultured Madame Merle (Barbara Hershey), she is far from suspecting that this acquaintance will lead to her unhappy marriage to an elusive, middle aged art collector, Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich).

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