.

White Countess

Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, John Wood

Directed by James Ivory
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
January 6, 2006

This romantic drama, set in China in the mid-1930s, focuses on Sofia Belinsky (Natasha Richardson), a Russian countess who supports her exiled family by working as a club dancer and prostitute. She finds an unlikely savior in Todd Jackson (Ralph Fiennes), a blind American diplomat determined to open a nightclub in Shanghai with the countess as his hostess and untouchable love object. With the threat of invasion by Japan, Jackson sees his club as an unofficial League of Nations. The convoluted screenplay by Remains of the Day novelist Kazuo Ishiguro makes it hard for director James Ivory to maintain an emotional through-line. But Richardson — acting with her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, who plays her aunt, and her aunt Lynn Redgrave, who plays her mother — finds the story's grieving heart. Fiennes is her match in soulful artistry. As the last film from the legendary team of Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, who died in May, The White Countess is a stirring tribute to Merchant, a true builder of dreams in an industry now sorely bereft of his unique spirit.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com