Susan visits him and Merton realizes that Kate has revealed their secret to Lord Mark to sabotage the whole scheme, knowing that Mark would tell Milly as revenge for her jilting him. Nonetheless Milly agrees to see Merton and the two share an intimate moment where she forgives him and says that she still loves both him and Kate, despite their actions.
A few days later, Milly dies and Merton and Susan attend her funeral. After Merton returns to London, Kate comes to Merton's flat.
She asks why he has not come to see her in the weeks he has been back and finds a letter from Milly's attorneys, informing Merton that Milly did indeed bequeath a sizable portion of her estate to him. Merton tells Kate that he will not take the money, and she must marry him without it if they are to be together. She agrees, and they make love. But afterwards, Kate asks him to tell her that he is not still in love with Milly, or his memory of her, and he cannot. Kate leaves him for good, knowing that her conniving has backfired.
Merton returns to Venice, alone, while in the background we hear Milly's voice repeating her confident assertion that Merton will be coming into his own, and sooner than he thinks. Syon House in London was used for the wedding reception scene early in the film. Shepperton Studios was used for the mock-ups of a platform tunnel and passageways representing both Dover Street and Knightsbridge tube stations.
Locations in Venice include St. Mark's Square and the Palazzo Barbaro.
The Wings of the Dove is a novel by Henry James. It tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her effect on. The Wings of the Dove is a British-American romantic drama film directed by Iain Softley and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, and Alison.
The Wings of the Dove received positive reviews from critics, and Bonham Carter's performance received critical acclaim. In his review in the New York Times , Stephen Holden called the film a "spellbinding screen adaptation [that] succeeds where virtually every other film translation of a James novel has stumbled. This magnificent film conveys an intimation of what values count the most, of what really matters, but it is also far too intelligent and sympathetic to human frailty to spell them out.
You feel them most of all in the characters' unbridgeable silences. Edward Guthmann of the San Francisco Chronicle said, " The Wings of the Dove was a minor literary work that manages on screen to upstage both Washington Square and The Portrait of a Lady , two superior Henry James novels that came across as stiff and deliberate in recent film translations. This is a breakthrough for Softley, whose earlier films Backbeat and Hackers only hinted at the style and complexity he displays here, and a wonderful showcase for Roache, Elliott and Bonham Carter, who gives her best performance yet.
In Entertainment Weekly , Owen Gleiberman graded the film A and observed it "has a lush yet aching beauty that seems to saturate you as you watch it. I'm not just talking about visual beauty. I'm speaking of dramatic beauty, the exquisite moment-to-moment tension of characters who reveal themselves layer by layer, flowing from thought to feeling and back again, until thought and feeling become drama.
Director Iain Softley has made one of the rare movies that evokes not just the essence of a great novel but the experience of it. The Wings of the Dove is, I think, a great film. David Stratton of Variety stated the film "gives Helena Bonham Carter one of her best opportunities in a while, one which she seizes with relish, looking vibrant and totally convincing in her pivotal role.
The Wings of the Dove may be typical of the school of British literary cinema, but Softley's handling of several key elements, including an unusually frank love scene in the later stages, is always inventive. Production values are of the highest standard. Andrew Johnston critic , writing in Time Out New York , noted that "Softley and Amini risk making their film seriously anachronistic by emphasizing the plot's pulpish qualities, but the able cast helps make it work. Wings is a masterful and deeply haunting film; it adds genuine relevance to a genre that typically leans toward the static.
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The Wings of the Dove Theatrical release poster. It always seemed like a big undertaking -- and there are so many books by Henry James!
Precisely that daunting fact led me, a few years ago, along with a few like-minded lost souls, to form a group we have dubbed the South Brooklyn Henry James Society, devoted to reading the entire James oeuvre though it may take us much of our lives to get through all the stories. We're finally slated for "Wings of the Dove" in the fall, with all summer to work our way through to the exquisitely tragic failure of Kate and Merton's love.
Last month, I bought my copy and sat down next to the air conditioner with my feet up and an iced coffee beside me. That's when I discovered the movie's infidelity and how badly I had, in fact, ruined the book for myself by ever watching it. I kept wondering if maybe it was some film starring Kate Winslet I'd been thinking of, not Bonham-Carter?
Or some Merchant Ivory production? Where was that scene with the young heartthrobs bustling and bumping through the Underground, their rendezvous?
I felt robbed. And what was with the circuitous conversations between Kate and her father, her sister, or her aunt that were analyzed down to within an inch of the interlocutors' lives not to mention mine , the narrator pondering their every motive and machination, rather than revealing their relationships? Suffice it to say, the beginning of "Wings" is -- like a lot of James -- heavy going. I kept telling myself to work through the pain, it would pay off eventually, but I was not having fun.
The plot itself is without question unimpeachably juicy, but I knew too much and at the same time expected all the wrong moments. Even when I got to the subway scene, I initially felt let down. Kate and Merton don't touch, much less grope one another. I tried to forget the movie entirely and lose myself in the book; only then did I start to find the odd delightful little moments that make "The Wings of the Dove" so quintessentially Jamesian and so modern it was published in , a year after the wacky and practically postmodern vampire tale "The Sacred Font" , if not quite R-rated.
You might as well give up any hopes of the literary equivalent of Bonham-Carter's full frontal nudity right now. Indeed, "Wings" is not just modern, it's precisely about the clash of modernity and tradition, the shifting of moralities across centuries and continents, the loosening of class structure and the diminishing stranglehold of conventional propriety. Here, for example, is how that subterranean encounter really goes: James informs us that Kate and Merton have been previously introduced at a party. We know there was a spark, but also that Densher is far from up to snuff as far as her family is concerned.
Six months pass, and then it's only the "happy hazzard" of their meeting on the train that allows such a socially unequal pairing to evolve. A subway car is surely the very opposite of a drawing room, and the dichotomy precisely illustrates why the union of these two lovers is frowned upon by everyone who matters to Kate -- from her wealthy aunt to her mingy widowed sister to her ne'er-do-well father, all of whom hope she will make a more lucrative match that will somehow benefit them. Her travelling companion and confidante, Mrs. Stringham, is an old friend of Maud.
With Kate as a companion, Milly goes to see an eminent physician, Sir Luke Strett, because she worries that she is suffering from an incurable disease. The doctor is noncommittal but Milly fears the worst. Kate suspects that Milly is deathly ill. After the trip to America where he had met Milly, Densher returns to find the heiress in London. Kate wants Densher to pay as much attention as possible to Milly, though at first he doesn't quite know why.
Kate has been careful to conceal from Milly and everybody else that she and Densher are engaged. With the threat of serious illness hanging over her, Milly decides to travel to Venice with Mrs.
Aunt Maud, Kate and Densher follow her. At a party Milly gives in her Venice palazzo the older Palazzo Barbaro , called "Palazzo Leporelli" in the novel , Kate finally reveals her complete plan to Densher: he is to marry Milly so that, after her presumably soon-to-occur death, he will inherit the money they can marry on. Densher had suspected this was Kate's idea, and he demands that she consummate their affair before he will go along with her plan.
Unfortunately, the dying girl learns from a former suitor of Kate's about the plot to get her money. She withdraws from Densher and her condition deteriorates. Densher sees her one last time before he leaves for London, where he eventually receives news of Milly's death.
Milly does leave him a large amount of money despite everything. But Densher does not accept the money, and he will not marry Kate unless she also refuses the bequest. Conversely, if Kate chooses the money instead of him, Densher offers to make the bequest over to her in full.