Wings of the Dove, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1

An adaptation of one of the most intriguing love stories from novelist Henry James, Wings of the Dove, begins in London in the early 1900s. Beautiful, restless Kate (Helena Bonham Carter) has been forced to live with her snobbish socialite aunt since her mother died. Kate's father has squandered his wife's inheritance on liquor and opium. Determined to find a "suitable" husband for Kate, Aunt Maud (Elizabeth McGovern) becomes incensed when she learns her niece is secretly seeing Merton (Linus Roache), a penniless newspaper reporter. Suddenly Kate's life perks up when she befriends Millie (Alison Ellison), a young American heiress who arrives on the London social scene. Millie's fortune, generosity and love of life make her an ideal companion for Kate. Kate introduces the orphaned heiress to Merton and the three become inseparable, although Millie does not know Kate and Merton are lovers. When Millie confides in Kate that she has fallen for him, we learn Kate's true character. Passion, betrayal and deceit create a fascinating tale beautifully filmed with glorious scenes of romantic Venice. For those adult viewers hungry for rich, three dimensional plots, WINGS OF THE DOVE will be a banquet.

Unfortunately, this banquet has one tainted serving of gratuitous, graphic sex. Up until the final ten minutes, the movie has no explicit sexual content. Merton and Kate's relationship is clearly sexual because of some passionate kisses and one obscured scene of the two obviously having sex. Sex is also implied once between Millie and Merton, but in a much later incident he and Kate are completely nude in bed and the sex is prolonged and graphic. Kate's selfish manipulation of Millie reaps nothing but disaster for all three of them. It appears she has inherited some of her father's traits -- he traded his daughter to his sister-in-law for money to support his drinking and opium addictions. Merton suffers too for allowing himself to be part of Kate's betrayal. The adult subject matter would make WINGS OF THE DOVE inappropriate for children, but the prolonged lovemaking scene makes it inappropriate for all discerning audiences.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: None

Sex: Twice (obscured, no nudity once; graphic, prolonged w/nudity once); Implied once (unmarried couple spend night together)

Nudity: Few times - side view of male and female, full breast nudity, full rear nudity of man and woman; nude figures in art museum)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - elderly man in house of prostitution; reference to doctor who performs surgery on child prostitutes; drunk enters bedroom of young woman; couple groping in elevator, passionate kisses

Drugs: Few times - drunkenness in brothel, man in opium den, man drinks excessively


Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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