There's heart but not much heat in this film version of The Echoing Grove, the novel of World War II-era adultery that Rosamond Lehmann reportedly based on her affair with British poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis (father of Daniel). Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind) has real star power as Rickie, a banker married to perfect Madeleine (Olivia Williams). What's not perfect is Rickie's attraction to Madeleine's' sister Dinah (Helena Bonham Carter in full temptress mode). The war is dragged in to add gravity. Bad idea. Musty affectation not only weighs a ton, it takes all the fun out of lust.
From The Archives Issue 925: June 26, 2003