White Countess details
|Starring:||Natasha Richardson, Madeleine Potter, Ralph Fiennes, John Wood, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave|
|Studio:||SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT|
|Run time:||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Rental release:||14 Aug 2006|
|Main languages:||Czech, English, Hungarian, Polish|
|Dubbed:||Polish, Czech, Hungarian|
|Subtitles:||Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
Most helpful review
A poor swansong for Merchant IvoryBy Cathy from Uckfield, East Sussex , 09 Aug 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]I rushed to the cinema to see Marchant Ivorys last film (set in the 1930s). However my initial enthusiasm didnt last, as regrettably it was not the best of their films. However it is a beautiful film with wonderful performances from the actors: Natasha Richardson as the Russian countess plays her with a broken heart and broken smile and Ralph Fiennes gives such an accomplished and credible performance of a blind man living in his dark world, it is a shame that he is let down by the script. One of the disappointments for me was that there is no chemistry between the two leads, I couldnt actually image them being friends let alone lovers. The film is beautiful and haunting though. It was interesting that the film was as I am not that familiar with that history.
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White CountessBy Kela23 (636 reviews) from Wickford, Essex , 18 Sep 2009I did enjoy this film although to me it was bittersweet as it starred the late Natasha Richardson. She gave a wonderful performance and the chemistry between her and Ralph Fiennes was perfect.
I don't believe this was a box office smash but I still enjoyed the film set in Shanghi during the mid 1930's. It had a great supporting cast and even though the film was over 2 hours long I never felt that it dragged.
Interesting and informative about the periodBy terence (14 reviews) from Stonehaven , 20 Aug 2009I enjoyed this, my heart going out to the girl's situation. You cared enough about them to hope that there would be a happy ending, This was a film that could be watched again
The pursuit of dreamsBy Doric (15 reviews) from St. Albans , 01 Aug 2009Set in 1930s Shanghai, this film captures the lives of an infrequently featured group, the exiles from the Russian aristocracy who had to leave their country and flee for their lives after the revolution. The squalid tenaments of Shanghai are a fascinating melting pot for all sorts of exiles including a Jewish tailor and his family. Their lives and the lives of the Russians become entwined with those of the other end of the Shanghai social scale; the English diplomats and high ranking officials of the Japanese army, poised on the brink of invasion. Richardson's performance as the eponymous White Countess is tightly controlled, dignified and tragic as she is forced to work in dance halls to feed her disapproving family. She maintains an unerring sense of integrity and class which is strikingly contrasted with the snobbery, indolence and jealousy of her female relations.
Into this world literally stumbles Fiennes (the now blind diplomat whose previous experiences have left increasingly disenfranchised from the accepted behaviours of the diplomatic world) and, through a random conversation with a mysterious Japanese business man and a chance encounter with his Countess, the dream of running the perfect bar is born.
But Shanghai's days as the place where dreams come true; whether at the top end of the social spectrum or nearer the bottom with the tailor's market stall, are numbered as the political tensions grow with the arrival of the invasionary Japanese forces. As they take over the city, literally destroying everything in their path, the Russians, the Jews and Fiennes are all forced to abandon everything once again and take flight but the film manages to snatch a few strands of hope from the total devestation, demonstrating how genuine friendship can be found in the most unexpected places.
A beautifully and sensitively shot film which examines the nature of peoples dreams and ambitions against the complex social and political backdrop of Shanghai between the wars. The film ultimatley shows us how the essential good in people can triumph against all odds but it also shows how it can be just as quickly lost when political and social ambitions take over.
EnjoyedBy a customer from scotland , 21 Jul 2009Enjoyed reading this
Early ChinaBy phillifan (10 reviews) from Tunbridge Wells , 05 Jul 2009A beautifully made film, provides an amazing view on how Shanghai might have been at that pivotal time in history. The acting was beautiful but there wasn't the sympathy and connection between the 2 main players which would have made it a really memorable performance. I was reminded to much of 'The English Patient' when watching Ralph Feinnes, and Natasha Richardson was beautiful but not human enough. That said it was still an interesting story and worth watching, although it was a slow build up. One can only imagine what happened next, at the end.