2 Best Movies to Watch by Diana Kent

Staff & contributors
The fate of one’s financial, interpersonal, and physical desires are intertwined through marriage, and because of these sometimes conflicting needs, most people are willing to go past what they would like to acknowledge to win the affections of the person they believe would fulfill them. Henry James’ 1902 novel The Wings of the Dove is centered on this idea, but the 1997 film adaptation softens the leads, with the striking dynamic between Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Elliott, and Linus Roache feel like it was bound with some genuine affection, mixed alongside the self-centered desires present in the novel. Readers of the original book might not appreciate this change, but overall The Wings of the Dove paints an interesting interpretation to the classic novel, and does so with all the flair standard in British period romance dramas.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Alex Jennings, Alison Elliott, Ben Miles, Charlotte Rampling, Diana Kent, Elizabeth McGovern, Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Michael Gambon, Philip Wright

Director: Iain Softley

Rating: R

Peter Jackson made the transition from splattery gross-out movies like Braindead to more respectable fare with Heavenly Creatures, the true story of an intense relationship between two teenage girls that culminates in the murder of one of their mothers.

As the girls’ friendship becomes unhealthier, they invent a secret world for themselves, amusingly including a heart-throb Orson Welles. This gives Jackson the opportunity to indulge in his love of fantasy, creating some dazzling hallucinatory sequences.

The fantasy element contrasts beautifully with the humdrum setting of ‘50s New Zealand, and the final tragedy is heart-breaking. The film also provided an auspicious debut for Kate Winslet, who is terrific as one of the misguided fantasists.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Actor: Barry Thomson, Ben Fransham, Clive Merrison, Darien Takle, Diana Kent, Elizabeth Moody, Geoffrey Heath, Gilbert Goldie, Glen Drake, Glenys Lloyd-Smith, Jed Brophy, Jesse Griffin, Kate Winslet, Liz Mullane, Lou Dobson, Melanie Lynskey, Moreen Eason, Peter Elliott, Peter Jackson, Ray Henwood, Sarah Peirse

Director: Peter Jackson