Neil LaBute (2002)

12A Certificate


Our Score
This wispy, time-shifting romance represents a clumsy change of pace for edgy director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty). His adaptation of AS Byatt's 1990 Booker Prize-winning novel evokes neither the poetry nor the passion of its source, while Gwyneth Paltrow and LaBute regular Aaron Eckhart phone in their drippy performances as literary sleuths researching the amorous secrets of bisexual Victorian poet Jennifer Ehle and her married lover Jeremy Northam. As the contemporary academics unearth the truth behind their dry studies - and LaBute bodice-rips away in arch 19th-century flashbacks - they find themselves falling under the spell of their subjects' romantic obsession. Low on mystery and emotional engagement, but high on Americans abroad clichés and chocolate-box settings, this is a frostily remote French Lieutenant's Woman wannabe.


Rival academics get embroiled in the hunt for proof that Victorian poets Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte were having an affair - but their rivalry is tempered by a seemingly irresistible attraction between them. Drama from playwright Neil LaBute, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle, Lena Headey and Tom Hickey.

Cast & Crew

Maud Bailey Gwyneth Paltrow
Roland Michell Aaron Eckhart
Randolph Henry Ash Jeremy Northam
Christabel LaMotte Jennifer Ehle
Blanche Glover Lena Headey
Dr Fergus Wolfe Toby Stephens
Professor Blackadder Tom Hickey
Prof Mortimer Cropper Trevor Eve
Euan Tom Hollander
Sir George Bailey Graham Crowden
Lady Bailey Anna Massey
Ellen Ash Holly Aird
Paola Georgia MacKenzie
Director Neil LaBute
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Sex scene. Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 25 Oct 2002